Top 10 Qualities Successful Nonprofits Must Have

Anna Medina

Written by: Anna Medina, who likes writing from her university years. When she graduated from the Interpreters Department, she realized that translation was not so interesting to her, as writing was. She trains her skills now working as a freelance writer on different topics.

Top 10 Qualities Successful Nonprofits Must Have

Being successful with your nonprofit organization is not always easy. There are many challenges you need to overcome regularly, from the lack of funding to global pandemics. But the situation can be even more difficult for nonprofit organizations operating in developing countries.

You might be working against the system in many ways – and the system won’t like that. That’s why to be successful in the long run, your nonprofit organization needs to aspire to succeed in these ten areas.

#1 Focus on Your Mission

First and foremost, to work efficiently as a nonprofit organization, you and your team need to have a specific mission you can focus on. Always being focused on your mission helps you plan your actions and direct all of your efforts to eventually achieve your main goal. You should be taking steps towards your objective one at a time.

While you may have a particular cause that your nonprofit organization supports, it’s not actually the same as having a mission. Your mission needs to be more specific. Just like with any other business, it’s a good idea to pair it with your vision and values.

#2 Build Your Reputation

Building your organization’s reputation is essential to finding more funding, connecting with donors, partnering with other nonprofits, and so on. It’s about getting exposure through different channels but also about making sure that people know about your accomplishments as an organization.

The Internet creates numerous opportunities for you to do all of this. However, you should still be careful with the way you utilize it. The reviews of companies and products that customers post online can easily spoil those brands’ public images. The same logic works for your nonprofit. Make sure you ask your supporters to review you online, to create trust with people who are meeting you for the first time.

#3 Rely on Your Team

As a leader, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your staff. However, no matter what situation you are in, you should trust your employees enough to rely on them. You can’t do all the work yourself, so you will always need to have someone to support you and work with you as a team.

Even during these troubled times when so many businesses are forced to work with their employees remotely, you can still thrive as a nonprofit organization. Working with a remote team is almost no different than working with one based in an office. You just need to make sure that there is enough communication to organize everyone’s activities.

Team work
Rely on your team. Image by: Wix

#4 Adapt and Be Flexible

Flexibility is one of the key factors any organization needs to have to be able to succeed in the long run. You need to be able to adapt to different situations to overcome the challenges you encounter as you grow your nonprofit.

Experts from one of the best writing services reviews sites say, “Many nonprofit organizations suffer from the lack of funding. This is exactly why you need to be flexible and be able to adapt when your organization is in a period when there isn’t enough money to support its activities.”

#5 Inspire and Mobilize

One of the best ways to attract donors and funders who can support your organization is by inspiring and mobilizing people. It’s not enough for you as a leader to have body and mind harmony while your team is also feeling well in their respective roles. You should also be looking for ways to improve and to attract even more people.

Think about all of the projects you have successfully completed and all of the campaigns that brought you more exposure. Spread the word about these successes to attract more volunteers to participate in your future endeavors.

#6 Follow A Strong Leader

Speaking of inspiring and motivating others, you need to have a strong leader to follow. If you aren’t the leader of your nonprofit organization, then you definitely need to find someone else as soon as possible to fill this role.

This person needs to have the right leadership skills as well as knowledge of the way nonprofit organizations like yours work. This will enable them to lead your team even when the situation you are in may seem particularly difficult to get through.

Follow A Strong Leader
Follow A Strong Leader. Image by: Wix

#7 Diversify Your Funding Sources

One of the reasons why so many nonprofit organizations struggle to find funding is that they decide to focus on a single source of funding. Instead, try to diversify. Get individual donations, apply for grants, sell goods and services, partner with other organizations, etc.

This approach doesn’t only work for your funding specifically. Try to diversify your human resources as well. For instance, you can definitely find student volunteers to get simple office tasks done such as working in Excel with the percent change formula or managing office supplies. Don’t rely solely on experienced volunteers or staff members.

#8 Innovate with Tech

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to get all of the latest tech, However, you should still aim to innovate your organization with the help of the tech available to you, starting simply from the website creation especially with so many free options easily accessible nowadays.

Successful nonprofit organizations are the ones that are able to adapt to the digitalization of our world and are willing to introduce new tech into their strategy. Utilize the power of the World Wide Web, use free business and marketing tools, install tech in your organization’s office, and so on.

#9 Get Feedback and Improve

For your nonprofit organization to grow and achieve bigger goals, you need to improve. And to improve, you need to get feedback on your current activities. Try to get feedback both internally and externally.

For instance, you can make a survey and ask your donors and/or volunteers to fill it out to give you an idea of what they like about your organization, what they don’t like, and what they would improve. The same thing can be done internally with your team, but you can also simply get some feedback during meetings instead of creating a separate survey for this.

#10 Trust Your Donors

Last but not least, you need to trust your donors. Obviously, it’s important to rely on your team and to diversify your funding. But at the end of the day, your donors are often the ones who help your nonprofit organization to be involved in different activities.

You should understand that donors are not just wallets. They are also people. And once you understand, you will be able to inspire and mobilize more people to get involved in your organization’s activities. You can even divide your donors into different segments to target them with your marketing and promotional campaigns more effectively. But at the same time, don’t forget about the power of storytelling and spreading the word about your achievements.

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To summarize, there are many factors that are essential to the success of your nonprofit organization. And to truly achieve the goals you have set, you will need to strive to develop all of these elements in your organization.

Put together a team you can rely on, appoint a strong leader, diversify your funding sources, and start implementing new practices into your strategy. Over time, you will see significant improvements and will be able to take your organization to a completely different level.


Remember you are not alone! Join GivingWay’s community of nonprofit organizations to share your insights and questions with organizations similar to yours.