How do you know if your non profit is a success?

Non profits lead with purpose coalescing stakeholders around a common mission and shared understanding of intentions. In terms of ‘success’, many non profits measure the number of services offered and individuals served as primary indicators of attaining their visions. While these are indications of success for certain, a larger question may remain unanswered and is vitally important to address. The question is: What is the impact of your mission? Are you delivering the results you intended? Distilling your impact and working to address potential misalignment between the mission and your strategy can help address a number of possible pain points from board member recruitment to volunteer disengagement to resource access and allocation.

Also critically important is to identify your organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a means to gather quantifiable performance measures over time to inform and manage crucial business objectives. KPIs are beacons for staff as they help track progress, reveal insights, and make informed decisions to reach milestones.

To identify the key benchmarks that point toward successfully operationalizing your mission, begin with a simple question during your next staff meeting: “How will we know when we achieve our mission?” Be ready to capture the results of this brainstorming session to transform them into KPIs and include the measures you will use to monitor them as we all know ‘what gets measured, gets done. ‘

Growing a non profit’s footprint takes intentional focus. Absolutely it includes offering more services and/or serving a larger number in the community. And let’s add another tool to your repertoire to gauge your results and impact over the long term. KPIs can help your org stay on course as you reach to attain your vision. Ping me at if you need some help along the way!

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What’s Your Why?

As the Summer of 2022 rolls in, Blue Heron Coaching staff is eagerly looking forward connecting with like minded professionals through a variety of venues and networking events. As I was sharing our summer plans, a dear friend offered wise guidance. She reminded me to have my ‘elevator pitch’ ready and be certain to embed my “Why?” within it. This was one of three components included in the Golden Circle model highlighted by Simon Sinek, world renowned author and inspirational speaker, as a means to differentiate your brand and value proposition.

Now this got me thinking about your ‘why’. So I’m wondering, have you taken the time to articulate your ‘why’ for what you do? Linking your purpose to your leadership is a promising practice to engage the broader community. Great things happen when there is a shared purpose between you, your staff, and those whom you serve. It serves as a beacon and a point of inspiration while also serving as a uniter to those it draws in – a trifecta impact for certain! So give it a go, what’s your ‘why?’ Send me an email at to let me know.

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Strategy in Four Questions

These days, getting caught without a strategy to guide your nonprofit is tantamount to failing to plan in the big picture and long range. Now, at first this might not seem natural as aren’t you running a nonprofit with “nonprofit” being the optimal word? We get it. It seems a bit counterintuitive, sort of like trying to sign your name with your non dominant hand. It. Feels. Awkward.

But we promise you, once you begin down the business strategy road it becomes less awkward. Especially as the benefits begin to mount, leading with your mission’s impact!

Michael Angelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” So please, if you’ve not done so already, get busy revealing or polishing your organization’s work of art through the development of a business strategy. To get you going, here are four key questions.

1. What value are you creating for your clientele?

2. How do you generate resources to deliver the value you create?

3. How do you create value for your clientele?

4. What additional resources do you need to maximize clientele value?

Answer these questions, map them to your organizational core, and watch the magic happen.

Your success partner,

Blue Heron Coaching Team