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Business-Minded Nonprofits

Texans are a very charitable group of passionate people. In 2020, we saw 96,000 new nonprofits register in the State of Texas.

  • 7,000 were registered in Tarrant County

  • 11,000 were registered in Dallas County (source: CNM 2020 State of the Sector report)

In the nonprofit sector we are uncomfortable with the notion of competition but considering the number of nonprofits in the DFW area there’s bound to be a certain amount of competition for resources. Running a nonprofit that is transparent with its financials, has measurable outcomes, and provides a safe productive workplace, is a cut above the thousands of other nonprofit organizations.

A smart strategy for the nonprofit leader is to be mindful of business best practices that cover a range of issues from board governance to fundraising to managing and motivating a staff. The effective leader also builds a team of talented people who complement her skillset and have a passion for the mission.

Other factors that determine the success of a nonprofit are:

The value of an experienced Executive Director or CEO cannot be understated. A leader who inspires others and who exemplifies the organization core values can move an organization from good to great. However, compensation for nonprofit leadership is almost a taboo subject. We expect corporate CEOs to be well compensated. At the same time, we are aghast when a nonprofit CEO is well-paid. This is one area where nonprofits can and should emulate their for-profit counterparts.

There are some parallels between nonprofit and for-profit, but there are also significant distinctions. For example, both entities can earn or make money, but a nonprofit cannot pay dividends to its board members and other stakeholders, like a corporation is expected to do.

Our society depends on both capitalism and charity. They share some similarities, but we should never assume that a charity can be run the same way as a for-profit corporation.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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