The Sustainability Formula: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive in the Emerging Economy

New York, NY (July 7, 2009)- Leadership, more than budget, is a key predictor of nonprofit success and appears to be one of the most important factors in organizational sustainability, a new survey conducted by the TCC Group finds. Using its online Core Capacity Assessment Tool, TCC surveyed approximately seven hundred organizations to identify ten key characteristics of financially sustainable nonprofits. The resulting report, The Sustainability Formula: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive in the Emerging Economy, found that effective leadership is the strongest predictor of nonprofit sustainability, followed by fundraising/financial management and program staffing and management.


According to the survey, other key characteristics of nonprofit sustainability included clearly articulated and effectively communicated mission and vision statements, strong financial management systems, the development and active maintenance of long-term relationships with funders, and a willingness to revise strategic plans and upgrade programs and services.
While the report found that 28 percent of the responding nonprofits considered themselves to be financially sustainable, 30 percent considered themselves to be challenged in terms of sustainability and fewer than 25 percent displayed the qualities recommended in the report.
“Given these results, achieving financial stability is only possible in a sustainable way when viewed holistically as a leadership challenge that must focus on mission, vision, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness,” said TCC Group senior vice president and director of research Peter York. “It is our hope that by providing a context for sustainability, nonprofit organizations will continue to operate and benefit the individuals, families, and communities that depend on their efforts.”
Related Resources:
The Sustainability Formula: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Thrive in the Emerging Economy
TCC Group