Looking In or Looking Out?

I’ve just started Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. It’s a hot book in the field right now.

I’m to early in the book to make a judgment on it, but I am intrigued by the idea that nonprofit “greatness has more to do with how nonprofits work outside the boundaries of their organizations than how they manage their own internal operations.

Of the six practices the authors found, four relate to how the organization works with the outside world: other nonprofits, government, business, and individuals. (It’s interesting to note that the organization’s clients aren’t on this list.)

It’s a basic lesson, but easy to forget. Keep your focus on your mission and recognize that you, cool as you are, can’t achieve your mission on your own.

For another take on the danger of focusing too much on organizational considerations, see “Grassroots Rot.”

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