Here is another repost of one of my high-traffic blog posts.
It’s not lack of vision that caused failure – it’s lack of leadership skills!
What’s the major reason organizations fail? Usually failure is blamed on finances – lack of capital.
I point to another reason. Statistics show that small businesses fail at a rapid rate, and that 90% of those that fail do so because of the lack of skill of the leader. It’s no different, and possibly worse, in the nonprofit sector.
Over half of nonprofits opened fail annually. This is not caused by lack of capital.
This is a failure in leadership.
Richard Perry, of the Veritus Group, reports 5 reasons nonprofits fail. They are the following:
- Program becomes more important than People
- Money is valued more than Relationships
- Getting Things Done is considered better than Doing the Right Things
- Percentages are valued over Impact
- There is a focus on Power & Control vs. Effectiveness & Opportunity
- Growth becomes the objective vs. Greatness *
The missing skills are leadership skills.
Paul Light, a New York University scholar, predicted that 100,000 nonprofit groups would fail in 2008-2009. Realistically, it’s hard to qualify, says Bob Ottenhoff, chief executive of GuideStar, which collects information on charities.
But Mr. Ottenhoff recently tried to get a sense of just how many charities have been forced to close because of the recession. He concludes that Mr. Light’s prediction is “not only possible but probable.”
Roughly 30,000 to 60,000 nonprofits disappear from the IRS’s files each year for unspecified reasons; presumably, most of them have gone out of business, says Mr. Ottenhoff.**
Having worked with nonprofits for many years, I began to see trends that I felt could be reversed. Most nonprofits have a valuable vision and a mission that will make a great difference in the community they serve. They cannot, however, attain the fullness of their vision, because they are spending time and resources just keeping the doors open, and not investing in board capacity, leadership, and systems development.
In short, organizations fail due to lack of skills and systems, because they do not have the resources to create an overall strategy, train leaders, equip volunteers, and upgrade the board of directors. Funders want to fund healthy organizations with specific, measurable outcomes.
For this reason, I started the SynerVision Leadership Foundation to bring resources to nonprofit organizations and religious institutions as in-kind grants. This foundation is supported by individual donations, sponsorships, and revenue from selling programs and books to nonprofits and churches.
Consider supporting the work of the SynerVision Leadership Foundation by sponsoring a live leadership summit, or by providing a donation to support our work with the over 2.5 million nonprofits in the United States alone.
Check out the site for more information: http://synervisionfoundation.org/
* from the Veritus Blog
** from Chronicle of Philanthropy Blog
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(c) 2013 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.
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