No sector is exempt from the struggling economy's tightening clasp -- even the non-profit world. As funders look to assure their fiscal support is being used efficiently and thus wisely spent, non-profits need to be proving they can provide hard ROI’s. When discussing non-profits ROI can be defined as direct service to individuals measured in tangible benchmarks and lasting impact. For instance: How many people is an organization feeding each week? How many houses are being built and what percentage of the funding is going to the residents of their programs? What is the crime rate before and after the doors open to a non-profit? Not to mention looking at the integrity of a program to see what plans need to be in place to ensure the non-profit has longevity even in a struggling economy.
Such questions are always at the forefront for Goodcity, a nonprofit that "strategically partners with Chicago to empower nonprofit organizations to solve problems in under-resourced neighborhoods." Sean Harden, president of Goodcity, explained that the key to surviving an ever-changing economic environment is adapting strategies, plans and programs to survive. Whether the organization is simply at the precipice of being born from a passionate idea or is a currently existing program, Goodcity comes alongside them with diagnostic assessments that measure their strengths and weaknesses. They then determine if Goodcity will come join them as a consultant to help them reach their goals and successfully grow for one year.
The reality Goodcity has capitalized on is that passion is not enough to drive a successful non-profit in today’s world. It takes an educated approach plan that relentlessly works on weaknesses. You see, the stakes are high. Though not ideal, most under-resourced neighborhoods depend on local non-profits and government funded programs to provide services that they depend on. If the organizations cannot continue for monetary or staffing reasons then the neighborhood takes a big hit. Goodcity is not just focused on the success of the non-profits they work with they are ultimately caring for the city through good business practices and continued support of their clients.
Through their efforts, they are able to create collaborations and even combine back-office services to save non-profits money. In addition, they look to see if there are any other organizations that are currently working in an area that someone expresses interest in starting a whole new program. If one already exists, they encourage collaboration so that the existing organizations can be the most effective.
Goodcity takes the approach that it takes a consulting village to help an organization deliver the sought-after hard ROI’s. Through encouraging collaboration, working with organizations to help them become more efficient and ultimately lend to the long-term presence of organizations the greater good can be realized.
To learn more about Goodcity visit: goodcitychicago.org