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Stress No More: How to Overcome Nonprofit Leaders’ Top 3 Challenges

As a nonprofit leader, the challenges you face are like those of your peers, regardless of the differences of your missions. In their Not-For-Profit Trends Report 2023, the consulting firm UHY surveyed non-profit leaders and identified their top three changes as program funding, reliable financial resources, and working with community partners. You may relate to one or more of these difficulties in your organization. Thankfully, there are strategies to help you overcome common obstacles as you strive to improve outcomes and create impact.

Program Funding

Almost 75% of survey respondents stated that reliable program funding is a major concern they face as a social-good organization. Many organizations rely on government and charitable grants to provide funding for individual programs. This makes grant writing one of the most important strategies for overcoming funding concerns.

The most successful grant applications are based on a few reliable principals. The first is to always keep your funder in mind. Funders often have targeted missions that inform every grant they approve. Their acceptance or rejection of your grant application often has less to do with the quality of your application than it does with how your mission works to address their mission. Do your research and apply for grants that fit your goals.

Another strategy for securing reliable funding is to measure and communicate your outcomes and social impact. All social-good organizations track their outputs. How many meals you serve, how many hours of tutoring you provide, how many homeless veterans you house. But showing your value to funders is about more than just the services you provide, it is about measuring and communicating how real people experience improved outcomes because of your programs.

Along with seeing the impact of your programs, funders want to know if they can trust your organization with their investment. Does your organization have a commitment to demonstrate both quality and consistency, as well as a plan for long-term improvement?

Reliable Financial Support

Over two thirds of social-good leaders report ongoing financial reliability as a major concern. Individual grant applications are essential for any nonprofit. But equally important are the relationships you build with your existing funders and donors. Building quality relationships leads to more reliable financial support because funders who are engaged in your mission and trust your organization are likely to continue investing in your organization.

Here are eight questions to ask your funders as you work to increase engagement and strengthen your relationships:

  1. How can we be better stewards of your giving?

  2. How can we better demonstrate the impact of your giving?

  3. How does our stewardship compare to other organizations to which you have given?

  4. What has been your most satisfying giving experience and what can we learn from it?

  5. Is there anything you would like us to aspire to that we have not?

  6. What about us has stood the test of time?

  7. As you reflect on the service we provide, what has become passé or outdated?

  8. What is happening in your life that you think we need to catch up on?

Community Collaboration

Just under ⅓ of respondents reported being concerned about the willingness of their community partners. Solving complex problems and addressing diverse needs requires building partnerships with community, government, and social-good organizations. Creating effective and sustainable partnerships increases impact by diversifying skills and expertise, increasing awareness, and increasing resources. For example, the Tacoma-Seattle based nonprofit Degrees of Change works with public schools, community colleges, and universities as part of their efforts to help students become teachers who can then return and benefit their local communities.

Sustainable collaboratives are key to long-term impact, and they start with intentional efforts and require a centralized technology infrastructure that supports both communication and accountability.

Technological Growth

“As digital transformation permeates throughout our world, the leaders of not-for-profits say they will embrace some form of new technology this year.”

Today’s nonprofit leaders need case management software designed to help you measure the effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of your programs and organization as a whole. What was once only possible for those who had big budgets for data scientists and third-party evaluators is now an integrated piece of case management software, giving you insights into your organization’s impact. This quick access to actionable data will enable you to change more lives than ever before.

Wrapping Up

SureImpact shares your passion for creating long-term social change. We understand the need to be innovative to stay strong during times of recession. Designed for social-good providers by social-good providers, our mission is to help you increase your social impact and prove your clients are better off because of the work you are doing.

SureImpact is the only technology solution specifically designed for all members of the social-good sector. Our proven collaborative infrastructure combines case management, impact measurement, and reporting to enhance your organization’s delivery of mission-critical services, engage your communities, attract new sources of funding, and increase trust with existing funders. By demonstrating the degree to which you are changing the world, funders and other stakeholders will become more invested in your cause than ever before.

To learn more, check out our quick overview video.


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