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The Organizational Lifecycles of Nonprofits: Growth

 

In the Growth stage, the organization has launched and is "on the map." Programs and funding streams are growing. The first paid staff-person is hired, and first new recruits are added to the board. The organization might have office space, but few administrative systems are in place. Building infrastructure and formalized processes becomes necessary.


Standards for Excellence Guiding Principles

Characteristics and Priorities

Maryland Nonprofits' Resources

Mission, Strategy and Evaluation

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  • Develop comprehensive strategic plan.
  • Programs may expand quickly as resources expand.  
  • Questions of mission/focus and geographic scope may arise as organization is stretched in new directions.  
  • Show results.
  • White M on red background Resource: Strategic Plan Outline
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Program Evaluation
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Mission, Impact and Planning

Leadership: Board, Staff and Volunteers

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  • Board may take on program and operational roles, as well as governing roles.
  • Executive Director shifts to paid status; professional staff are added.
  • Integrate new board members.
  • Establish board committees.
  • Board evaluates CEO performance.
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Board Composition and Independence
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Sustainability and Sustainability Planning
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Personnel Policies
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Volunteer Policies
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Board and Executive Partnership

Legal Compliance and Ethics

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  • Develop personnel policies and comply with laws and regulations as an employer.
  • Comply with fundraising regulations.
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Legal Requirements Checklist
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Working Professionally and Respectfully with Program Stakeholders
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Disclose It: A Charitable Nonprofit’s Guide to Disclosure Requirements
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Reporting Misconduct and Whistleblower Protection Maryland

Finance and Operations

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  • Professional help is needed for financial management, but resources are limited.
  • Establish chart of accounts.
  • Establish a database.
  • More out of home office.
  • Acquire business equipment.

Resource Development

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  • Diversify fundraising tactics; significant grants, contracts or earned income become more developed.
  • Recruit board members who can fundraise. 
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Fundraising Costs
  • White M on red backgroundStandards for Excellence Packet: Fundraising on Behalf of the Organization
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Resource Development Planning and Sources of Income

Public Awareness, Engagement and Advocacy

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  • Grow presence on web; social media.
  • Build your email contact list.
  • Develop "elevator pitch" and key messaging. 
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Advancing the Mission through Public Policy
  • White M on red background Standards for Excellence Packet: Educating and Engaging the Public

 

Better governance and management practices allow you to focus on meeting your mission, strengthen fundraising, improve decision-making, prepare for transition, minimize risk, and engage your board. Learn more about the Standards for Excellence Code - and embark on your organization's path to Excellence.

To see resources for other stages or to return to the Nonprofit Lifecycle home page, click below:

 

Diagram showing the steps of nonprofit lifecycles, starting at start-up, then growth, peak performance,  decline/crisis, and ending with renewal. 

 

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