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Get into Turnaround Mode

I’ve added another blog to my list after discovering it for the first time earlier this week.  Balancing the Mission Checkbook is written by Kate Barr, the Executive Director of the Nonprofit Assistance Fund in Minneapolis, and she covers a broad range of leadership topics, but particularly focuses on financial management issues.

Here’s an excerpt from one of Kate’s October 2008 posts where she suggests that nonprofits ought to address this period of economic uncertainty in much the same manner as they would address an organizational turnaround – that is, boldly, with a plan and with determination to follow it.

Brandeis University Press has just published The Art of the Turnaround: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Organizations by Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

A short excerpt from the book is available from The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Kaiser offers ten basic rules for every turnaround:

1.  Someone must lead

2.  The leader must have a plan

3.  You cannot save your way to health

4.  Focus on today and tomorrow, not yesterday

5.  Extend your programming planning calendar

6.  Marketing is more than brochures and advertisements

7.  There must be only one spokesperson, and the message must be positive

8.  Fundraising must focus on the larger donor, but don’t aim too high

9.  The board must allow itself to be restructured

10. The organization must have the discipline to follow each of these rules

Photo:  San Francisco Freeze at Powell & Market by navid j


Unknown said…
Thanks for sharing our blog post, I'm pleased you found it useful.

During this challenging time, we're doing our best to provide practical and strategic guidance to nonprofits, particularly on financial management. To read Balancing the Mission Checkbook, visit

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