Nonprofit Development – There are No Shortcuts – Only Systems

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”  Beverly Sills

Last week I participated in my first live chat on Twitter. It was hosted by Hildy Gottlieb and a large group of nonprofit consultants shared their current experiences within the world of nonprofit consulting.

One topic that came up quite frequently concerned the current focus on social media.

Clients want to know if they should be using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and how they should be using it. They want to know what benefits are out there. Many are seeing social media as the latest panacea that will pull their particular nonprofit organization out of the economic doldrums.

I’ve got news.

There is no magic bullet.

There isn’t one single technique or tactic or trick that will set your organization on the path to sustainability.

Yes, social media an important piece of the puzzle – but only a piece.

Nonprofit organizations need tried and true systems – systems for:

  • Grants management
  • Individual giving
  • Donor stewardship & communications
  • Website creation & management
  • Social media & PR
  • Events

And the backbone of all these systems is a case study presented with compelling story telling.

Systems are necessary. And you’ll develop shortcuts within your systems – that’s the beauty of them. I spend about 30 minutes a day on my own social media.

For an organization, once setup is complete, I spend approximately one hour per week.

When your systems are in place, you’ll have a strong, sustainable development program operating at full throttle.

End of story.

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4 Responses to “Nonprofit Development – There are No Shortcuts – Only Systems”

  1. Dan Hanley says:

    Great article. Thanks for posting it.

  2. […] Nonprofit Development – There are No Shortcuts – Only Systems | Pamela’s Grantwriting Blog http://www.pamelasgrantwritingblog.com/2009/07/nonprofit-development-there-are-no-shortcuts-%E2%80%93-only-systems – view page – cached “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”  Beverly Sills Last week I participated in my first live chat on Twitter. It was hosted by — From the page […]

  3. Gary Dillard says:

    Whether it’s blogging, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, a key to having and using a “system” is persistent consistency. If you’re running a micro nonprofit, don’t take on more than you can handle. And don’t flit from one to another because the first didn’t deliver immediately. Thanks for the Beverly Sills quote and its application to nonprofits.

  4. Stephen says:

    Pamela, thanks for a great post. As a consultant I recently shared a very similar point of view with a recent client. I would add also that having systems in place will also help formalize a process of testing what works effectively with an organization’s constituents [or subsets thereof] or not. Overtime a consistent approach and reflection on outcomes will enable an organization to really fine tune their development and marketing efforts.