I am considering bringing a guest expert on as a regular basis please email me any feedback or thoughts on today’s author. The next couple posts are by Tim Troutman from Charlotte Rescue Mission, and he is an individual passionate about donor data.
“Figures can lie and liars can figure.” That’s what my boss always says and while I think she’s right, there is a certain ‘mom & pop’ business model ingrained into non-profits that refuses to allow data to speak for itself. Or put another way, I’ve seen my share of non-profit executives who are too resolute in their years of experience to let mere facts interfere with decisions. In case my boss is reading, no I’m not speaking about you!
Through process innovation like Six Sigma, the business world is rapidly adopting a “data-driven” modus operandi. This is true especially in America where high production costs force corporations to build efficiently or build in Asia. How about the non-profit sector? I’m sure the larger ones are already well on their way to data-driven decision making; in fact I know this first hand. But the small and medium non-profits are well behind the times in this regard.
Six-Sigma training may be prohibitively expensive for many non-profits but there is plenty that can otherwise be done. Non-profits, particularly the fund raising departments, stand only to gain from implementing some basic structural changes in the way they do business. The first step is to develop a clear goal of increasing your non profit’s efficiency. (Notice I didn’t say “develop new strategies for expense allocation”!) In the next post, I’ll suggest some practical ways of improving your non-profit’s business model.