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Scaling Your Nonprofit’s Impact. Nonprofit MBA Podcast 3.24

Summary: Sevetri Wilson from Resilia speaks with host Stephen Halasnik from Financing  Solutions about how a Nonprofit can scale. In business, scaling means increasing the size of your organization so you can generate more revenue but Sevetri also talks about how a Nonprofit scale results in a more positive social impact.

Scaling a nonprofit is the process of increasing positive impact to better correspond to what society needs the organization has. It is all about how to increase positive social impact to where the organization is today.

What does Resilia Offer?

It is a two-sided platform, one thing they do is help nonprofit organizations increase their capacity and they also help funders scale their impact. They offer a formation service that helps nonprofits go through the incorporation exemption process. They also offer two other products, one being for existing nonprofits and the other being for funders. Not only does Resilia helps structure fundraising and how different organizations go after these funders; they bring in new team members and try supporting them by telling them how to do their job well. They also teach them how to scale up their nonprofits over time. Even board members have access to the platform really fast.

How Do Nonprofits Grow Over Time?

One thing you notice with a nonprofit as they grow is the leadership. There is so much training involved in how to actually run a nonprofit. There’s growth in leadership in everynonprofit scaling aspect of the nonprofit, which includes the CEO level, director level, and board level. What that leader is able to do when it comes to running a compliant and efficient organization lays the foundation of how successful the nonprofit organization is going to be. Leadership is needed when scaling a nonprofit.

Leaders have to take responsibility for a handful of things and should have the ability to hire other leaders that can handle the workload. Hiring also is a very important aspect of growth, you need to hire the right people to experience growth within the company. Hiring continues growth and that scale that is needed for a nonprofit to be successful.

Characteristics of Leaders

Leaders who have been the most successful have been the ones who get out of their way and look for innovative ways to access opportunities. They can captivate a group or a funder in a way that they give you money. Leaders need to drive in on a certain narrative and storytelling to keep funders interested. Successful leaders can make a compelling story so funders have no choice but

to fund them. Leaders have to have the ability to make a change in an organization if they have the funding needed.

Leaders can learn things such as fundraising, not everything is something you need to have on the spot. Things such as presenting to a big group are skills you can obtain by doing it more and more. As long as you get the personal development and the training needed for the things that you are weak with, you can develop those weaknesses you have into strengths in the future. There need to be people in your board that have those weaknesses you have as strengths in the meantime.

How Have Nonprofits Changed Over Time?

One thing that has changed when scaling a nonprofit is the idea of giving funding to increase capacity at an organization has become increasingly more common over time. Funders are now supporting nonprofits outside of just giving them money, they are trying to find other ways they can support organizations and making money less restrictive than it has previously been.

Another big change is the hiring of more staff that is needed for growth and scaling a nonprofit. The biggest mistake nonprofits make is that they run too tight without much staff. For growth and scaling, you need to hire the correct staff needed. Funders wouldn’t fund an organization that is short-staffed.

What Else Is Important In Scaling a Nonprofit?

Besides leadership, having a strong board, and a good foundation. Another important aspect in scaling a nonprofit is trying to cultivate donors to keep funding the organization and helping out the nonprofit. You need to cultivate donors after they fund your organization to keep them supporting the nonprofit. Another important thing is delivering a story of impact around your organization.

Another important thing in scaling a nonprofit especially in 2020 was technology. In 2020 because of the pandemic, nonprofits had no choice but to use technology to do everything such as communicate and use data software on the internet. Nonprofit technology is embraced by being the future of marketing and nonprofits. 2020 helped move nonprofits into a more digital, tech-savvy world faster than we expected. The future of using technology for good is very bright and fast approaching.

Something to Add to a Nonprofit

One thing that nonprofits such as Sevetri’s nonprofit are adding is the ability of scouting. Scouting is where investors will hire people to scout and find start-ups for them to invest in. For nonprofits, it is the same thing but instead of investors hiring people, it is the consultor’s job of doing it. A problem with scouting is that individuals scout from their own network which creates inequity that isn’t supportive of anyone. This is a great thing to add when scaling a nonprofit

How Will Nonprofits Adapt to the Changing Environment?

When scaling a nonprofit, people would have to be able to communicate to funders in a way that they want to receive information. You need to have opportunities to present your organization to other funders and communicate in a way that really wants them to fund your organization. Organizations need to be in sync and do what they do really well by demonstrating their purpose.

You will need to keep building stories as the environment changes. Building a story is very important because you are not just doing it to get money but it does get everyone in your organization on the same page and trajectory. People that work in your nonprofit need to be clear about what they are doing. The key for scaling a nonprofit is for everyone in the organization to understand the mission, culture, story, and values before going out trying to get money or funds. You have to know who and what are you are raising money from to be successful in trying to raise money. Otherwise, it will be a huge waste of time if you have no idea what you are doing in the first place.

About the Guest Sevetri Wilson, Founder, and CEO of Technology Startup Resilia, founded in 2016.

Sevetri is a 2010 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Public Service, the Jefferson Award; and her work was featured in the U.S. Senate report to the White House on Volunteerism in the U.S., under President Obama. Sevetri’s work and that of her clients have been featured in national publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, and CNN. She serves as a voice for communities as a Forbes contributor and has amassed over 200,000 followers across social media. 

Headquartered in New Orleans with a second office in New York, Resilia is revolutionizing how nonprofits are created and maintained, and how funders scale impact.

About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions

Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of loans for nonprofits in the form of Lines of Credit to nonprofits. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife, Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.

10% of profits from Financing Solutions is donated to charity.

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