Creating a wellness plan for your nonprofit in 2019: understanding your business model

“If a man has any goodness in him, it comes to light not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.”

– Beryl Markham, first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America.

The 2019 budget has been approved, the org chart is updated, the program plan has been developed and shared – but wait – there’s more! Have you created an organizational wellness plan for your agency for 2019?

Each new year brings unknown opportunities and threats that exist outside of our control. What you can control is making sure you have a good understanding of your nonprofit’s business model. Instead of focusing on organizational illness, let’s shift our focus in the new year toward organizational wellness.

Over the years, the Support KC team has developed diagnostic tools to determine a nonprofit’s “wellness”, and these tools can help you chart your nonprofits vital signs “at-a-glance”. We call these tools our Nonprofit Organizational Assessment Tools, or NOATS. They break down in the four categories that align with our core services, and we’ve matched them up with vital signs for health.

Blood Pressure (120/80)aligns with your financial position

Assess your organization’s financial position by using key financial ratios and metrics and fiscal management practices that demonstrate due diligence, transparency and internal controls on the part of board and staff.

Breathing (12 – 19 breaths per minute)aligns with your fund development activities

Do you know who your donors are and their giving habits? Can you articulate your funding sources? You want to make sure development metrics align with your fund development planning. This helps your staff and your board understand their role in fund development.

Pulse (60 – 100 beats per minute)aligns with data management and communications

Do you have a CRM or donor management system that provides the analytics you need to support donor and communications growth strategies? Do you have data standards and ongoing security and auditing procedures in place? Also, the ability to segment your constituents so they receive targeted and relevant communications should be inherent in your database design.

Temperature (97.8 – 99)aligns with governance, mission, fiscal and strategic oversight

Keep your board engaged by creating a “governance at-a-glance” visual. Included in this visual are the metrics around board composition, diversity, strategic plan update and reporting, CEO evaluation, board evaluation, board attendance and board giving. Key information displayed in a user-friendly format can turn your board volunteers into skilled diagnosticians and practitioners.

Stay tuned for Part Two of your nonprofit organizational wellness plan: Embracing Change.

Debra Box, M.A.
President and CEO
Support Kansas City, Inc.

About the Author

Debra Box

For the benefit of the nonprofit sector everywhere, we wanted to provide resources for ways we can continue to operate and grow within this era. And once social distancing begins to fade, what lessons can we take from this to improve our operations permanently. Come back often for more updates.