Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nonprofit Warning Signs

The December issue of The Mission-Based Management Newsletter came out early this month and I neglected to post about it. This month's topic is Signs of Organizational Trouble.

Here's the intro to the management tip:

"You wake up and feel lousy. Head hurts, throat is raw, no energy. Signs of a cold, or the flu. Not good.

You are going down the highway and up ahead all the brake lights are coming on and every vehicle is slowing down. Uh-oh.

For those of you who live in tornado country, it's blustery and the sky turns green....get to shelter, and right now.

All of these are signs of trouble, ones that we've learned to watch for and diagnose quickly. In the three cases above, if you take action quickly, you can prevent (in order) being sicker longer, having an accident, or getting badly hurt. But what about signs of trouble for your nonprofit? Wouldn't your staff and board like to have some early warning signs that would help prevent larger problems?

In this issue, we'll look at some signs of trouble that I've developed over my time as an exec, a board member and in 25 years of consulting. These come from my 2004 book Nonprofit Stewardship: A Better Way to Lead Your Mission-Based Organization. In the book, these are all listed in one chapter, but here, I'll break them down into management, tech and marketing categories to go along with the format of the newsletter. Let's start here with the management items on my list. Signs of trouble for a nonprofit include (in no particular order):"

Check it out, and remember you can look at past four years of past issues, by topic by scrolling down to the bottom of the newsletter. Also, you can sign up for the newsletter (it's free) by emailing


Christopher_Scott said...

Hi Peter,

I wanted to let you know about the Nonprofit December Giving Carnival. Deadline to submit your post is Dec. 20th.

Here is the link,

Let me know if you have any questions.

Christopher S.

lotto said...

Thanks to the blog owner. What a blog! nice idea.

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