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What nonprofit leaders can do to prepare for a tough economy

NFF logo Todd Cohen, editor and publisher of Philanthropy Journal , and author of the Inside Philanthropy blog recently had some good advice for nonprofit leaders as they prepare for the potential tough economic times ahead. (Nonprofits must gear for tough economy – Sept 29, 2008)

Cohen recently interviewed Clara Miller, founder and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, a New York City-based nonprofit that provides financial and advisory services to nonprofits and their funders. Miller has some prudent advice for nonprofit leaders:

  1. Take a hard look at organizational finances and perform a financial risk assessment to make sure assets are secure;
  2. Review revenue streams and consider the potential impact on each;
  3. Make adjustments cautiously; don’t look for quick fixes;
  4. Create opportunities to reach out and communicate with stakeholders;
  5. Instead of working on strategic plans for the long-term, focus on contingency planning that looks at specific financial scenarios.

In summary,

Ultimately, surviving and thriving in tough economic times requires leadership, Miller says.
“We want to be here for people who need us, so part of what we’re trying to do is live to fight another day,” she says. “This is about making sure we preserve our programs and services for the people who absolutely need them.”

Sound advice for nonprofit leaders entering into a period of economic uncertainty.

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About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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