17 Oct

5 Things Your Nonprofit Must Have Clarity On

Consultants overuse a lot of words. I have tried to ban “thinking outside-of-the-box” and “synergy” from my vernacular. The one word that I can’t use enough though is “clarity.” People need it in their lives, and organizations need it to survive and thrive.

Here are five things nonprofits must have clarity on:

  • Who you serve, how and why? – This is your mission and it needs to be crystal clear to all your stakeholders. This is your reason for existing and should be your source of inspiration daily.
  • What the economics of your business model are and your current financial state? – This is how you make sure your revenues and expenses match (and hopefully revenue exceeds expenses). You need to be able to articulate your business model and financial state at all times. This is the bedrock of management.
  • What your value proposition is for investors/donors? – If you can’t lay out your case for why people should give their money to you clearly, you can’t maximize your fundraising. Your case for giving or case statement isn’t just a document for a particular campaign; it needs to be internalized and consistently used across the organization.
  • Who is in charge? – Professionally, everyone in the organization needs to know clearly to whom they report, what the decision making process is and who has the authority to make various decisions.
  • What issues are questions for the board? – The professional staff and the board need to know what are squarely operational issues and which require the board to weigh in on or to decide.

I am going to keep using the term “clarity” and insist on it in these areas and many others. So should you.

Nanette Fridman, MPP, JD, is President of Fridman Strategies, Inc. (, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, financial resource development, governance and leadership coaching for nonprofits.  She is the author of On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service. Nanette can be reached at

Share now

Related Posts