Five Key Strategies for Making Your Nonprofit Business More Effective

I love tennis both as a spectator and a weekend player. I also believe that effective nonprofit organizations are an essential part of vibrant, engaged communities. As I was watching The Championships - Wimbledon this year, I realized there are lessons from Wimbledon (both from the players and the tournament itself) that can help your nonprofit achieve attention-getting results. What are these lessons?

Have a game plan
Successful players know their own strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents. They develop game plans designed to take advantage of their best weapons and to capitalize on opportunities provided by their opponents. Successful nonprofits know their external environment, know what they do well, stay flexible so they can capitalize on opportunities and use strategies based on their strengths.

Don't play a clay court game on grass
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event played on grass. Grass is a fast, slick surface and the ball bounces in strange ways. Players must be able to adapt their game to compete effectively. The nonprofit environment is constantly changing and effective organizations are able to anticipate and adapt to these changes.

Stand out from the crowd
Grass courts. All white tennis attire. The green backstops and stands. Turn on a televised tennis match and these images let you know immediately that you are watching The Championships-Wimbledon. From the distinctive crossed rackets of the Wimbledon logo to the familiar Wimbledon colors of green and purple, the Wimbledon brand is well-defined. Like it or not, nonprofits must develop an identity and consistently communicate their values and mission.

You can't play doubles alone
Although not as popular as singles, doubles is an integral part of tennis. Doubles teams are partnerships that take advantage of the strengths of each player. It is not uncommon to see competitors in singles form successful doubles teams. In the nonprofit world, effective partnerships can enhance the ability of each organization to meet community needs and often result in more effective use of each organization's resources.

Take advantage of rain delays
Wimbledon is famous for its rain delays. These delays often turn out to be opportunities. Time and again I've watched players raise the level of their game or successfully use new tactics after unplanned time in the locker room. All of us get caught up in day-to-day activities and feel we can't take time out. The reality is that taking time away often leads to new ideas and new strategies for advancing your mission.

Consistently applying these strategies will help you achieve attention-getting results. Give it a try and track your progress.

Judith Rothbaum helps talented nonprofit professionals and volunteers use information to build their business and think more boldly about who they are and the changes they create in their communities. Visit for tips, information and helpful tools.

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Understanding How Change Has Changed

There seems to be an assumption that change is a... Read More

Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: The Role of Character in Leadership

This article relates to the Senior /Top Level Management competency,... Read More

Plans & Goal Setting - Kicking winning Goals

Kicking Winning Business Goals The competition for business... Read More

Managers? Biggest Blunders

Nobody's perfect, including the boss. Managers, we polled recently, acknowledged... Read More

Why Half of All Mergers Fail After the Honeymoon Ends

Marriages and corporate mergers in America have at least one... Read More

Overcoming the Document Tracking Challenge

"Where did it go? It was here yesterday. Wait. Here... Read More

Business Fails When We Do Not Talk

You may remember being told as a child, "Keep quiet!"... Read More

How To Decrease Profits Without Really Trying

Hurting your sales efforts can be accomplished easily with the... Read More

How To Use W Edwards Deming

Human beings and the way they interact are extraordinarily Complex.... Read More

Creativity and Innovation Management: The Value Of Due Diligence

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation... Read More

Five Strategies for Profitable Services Growth

In today's era of Professional and IT Services competition and... Read More

Creative People, Innovative People

The title implies that some people are and others not.This... Read More

Motivating Employees - Ten Ways to Start You Off

Yet there is a place for those external 'raft-build's', 'away... Read More

Five Ways to Influence Change in Others

Because of my work as a consultant, trainer and coach... Read More

10 Fundamentals for Effective Meeting

Here are ten fundamental concepts that characterize an effective meeting.Definition:... Read More

Improved Communication to Improve Results

Facilitating good communication can make the difference between a well... Read More

Knowledge Management: More Than Just Know-how!

People sometimes interchange the terms "know-how" and "knowledge", but there's... Read More

Communication: Managements Responsibility

I've just watched, again, an episode in the Back to... Read More

Hiring and Retaining Good Employees

Hiring good employees is not only important to business, it's... Read More

Are You Managing to Lead?

For many people, the terms "manager" and "leader" are synonymous.... Read More

Business Innovation ? Ignoring Content

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation... Read More

Make the Most of Your Time - Focus on Strengths

Once working and focused in tune with what they do... Read More

Three Ways to Transmit Loud and Clear

The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but... Read More

The ?Better Product? fallacy

Another fallacy ingrained in the minds of most marketing managers... Read More

Creativity and Innovation Management: Goal Setting

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation... Read More

Do Customers Like the Feel of Your Organization?

In two recent articles "Some Evidence of How We Are... Read More

Using, Choosing, and Using an educational consultant

IntroductionThe aim of this document is to provide advice and... Read More

What Every Manager Should Know About How to Maximize the Two People Inside

Every one of us, in reality, has two people inside:... Read More

Performance Evaluations Can Be Beneficial

THE PERFORMANCE REVIEW MEETING: It's a fact - most supervisors... Read More

Score the Rainbows Pot of Gold: Become the Boss That No One Wants to Leave

Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the... Read More

Getting to Consensus

The need to get people in an organization to pull... Read More

Learn How To Get The Most From Your Team

Being a leader isn't easy. Every one looks to you... Read More

Why and How to Work with a Consultant

A good consultant provides specialist abilities and experience, innovative ideas,... Read More