Nonprofit success through innovation

March 15, 2013

Nonprofit success through innovation

In their special nonprofit edition, The Nashville Ledger focused on innovation as a key driver to nonprofit success, citing initiatives like Collaboration College, Oasis Center’s Neuroclarity, and Dismas House’s Triple Thread Apparel.

“To survive the Great Recession and its aftermath, many nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee tightened their belts and searched for ways to meet increasing demands for services despite diminishing resources.

Some are beginning to thrive again.

“Our nonprofits have stabilized, but at a somewhat lower level than where they were at before the recession,” says Lewis Lavine, executive director of the Center for Nonprofit Management, a Nashville-based agency that works to improve the skills of nonprofit executives.

“Most lost 18-20 percent (of contributions and financial assets) and were forced to reduce staff and/or programs,” he adds. “They returned to their missions and eliminated things that weren’t quite as essential as they thought. Very few went out of business, but they still faced huge challenges.”

The strongest local survivors are agencies that are using newfound entrepreneurial skills, collaborating and sharing resources with other nonprofits and carefully tracking the outcomes of their services, local nonprofit experts say.

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