Nonprofit Leadership: RelSci 5 weekly roundup

The Brief
RelSci 5 is a recurring digital resource for and about nonprofit leaders. Its curated articles and insights will help you do your job better. Get the insights first: Sign up for the weekly email newsletter here.    

1. A second look at organizational structures. It’s easy to complain about bureaucracy and lack of innovation, but if you’re serious about improving your organization, you need to consider revamping hierarchical structure. We’re not saying sociocracy is the answer, but this “non-authoritarian” system, where business decisions are based on consent (rather than “consensus”), discussed in semi-autonomous groups organized in circles and evaluated via feedback loops and a system of transparency, should at least get you thinking about your organization’s options. 

2. Can collaboration help you achieve more? Could collaboration or coalition with other NPOs or community groups help you improve outreach and results? National People’s Action examined their own collaborations over the last six years and how their experience could be applied to the world of philanthropy. Whether or not you should collaborate, they found, comes down to your goals. 

3. The volunteer whisperer. A large contingent of volunteers can help your organization achieve its goals more quickly, but if not marshaled properly, you could end up with a mess on your hands instead of real, impactful assistance. NPEngage has laid out a guide to getting the most out of your volunteer contingent.

4. The secret ingredient for successful corporate philanthropy.  Corporate philanthropy has become just another part of good business. Whether or not your company has the financials to donate on a large scale, it’s important to remember that your most valuable philanthropic assets are your people. Frequent RelSci blog contributor Evan Bleier examines how companies can leverage their relationship capital for good.

5. Feeds to feast on. As always, we’ve been looking out for great sources of useful info. Here are three Twitter feeds worth following:

@RadCampaign: NPO content marketing tips from online communications firm of the same name

@JustGiving: Fundraising and marketing tips and case studies from a leading online fundraising platform
 
@SocialEarth: Research on social entrepreneurship and the tools that help you achieve your mission


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