Nonprofit sustainability, or the ability to continue delivering relevant social impact over the long term, has always been important to nonprofit leaders. But as the spread of COVID-19 causes upheaval in just about every aspect of society and highlights the deep social inequities many nonprofits are working to address, sustainability is becoming even more of a top priority. Over the past few weeks, we’ve spoken with many nonprofit leaders who are worrying about how they will continue to sustain the important programs and services their organizations deliver. Indeed, a recent survey from LaPiana Consulting found that 93 percent of nonprofit respondents have already had to adapt or curtail services.
Naturally, financial health is crucial to ensuring that organizations can continue their work in the months and years ahead. However, our research looking at more than 50 nonprofits after the 2008 economic downturn and the years that followed (one example here), as well as our direct experience working with hundreds of nonprofits, shows the need to take a broader view. Before doubling down on financial health and organizational preservation, nonprofits should first reflect on their social purpose.
Click here to read the full post in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.