Gail Bower's Blog

Gail BowerThis blog will help you and your organization flourish.

Find provocative ideas, strategies, and best practices to increase your organization's visilibity, revenue, and impact.

Your comments, questions, and topic suggestions are welcome.


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    by Gail S. Bower

What your organization’s Sustainability Quotient?

Sustainable: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed. Able to last or continue for a long time.
--Merriam-Webster’s dictionary

Too many nonprofit organizations—large and small—operate on razor thin margins and lack an adequate safety net. If that describes your organization’s fiscal health, follow the lead of my best clients by setting an intention and creating a strategy in 2018 to turn things around. And keep it there.

Sustainable organizations have sufficient resources to adequately fund their operations, with an appropriate level of reserves on hand. But don’t for a minute assume this means that once you achieve it, you’ve reached Shangri-La.

That’s fiction.

With numerous threats to your organization’s contributed revenue sources—including the new tax plan which may deter itemization of expenses, such as charitable donations—and the constant monitoring required to manage operations and contain costs, you must be vigilant. Efficient organizations, guided by good practices and systems and that always innovate, are those that live in a state of sustainability.

Achievement is an ongoing activity and lives at the intersection of three areas: your Mission, your ability to create Value in the marketplace, and your level of adaptability and innovation towards the Future.

Without these three working together, you face one of these conditions:

  • Blinded. If you’re focused on your mission and able to deliver value with a clear business model (position 1) but haven’t factored in the future, you’re operating with blinders on and too focused in the weeds of day-to-day existence.
  • Adrift. If you’re focused on delivering value through your business model and know intimately where you’re heading in the future (2) without considering how you’ll achieve your mission, you run the risk of mission drift and even exposure to tax liability.
  • Questionable Viability. If you’re focused on mission and the future (3) without value and working knowledge of the needs of your business model in the marketplace or for your ecosystem, it means your viability is dubious. It may also mean you’re wasting or underinvesting in resources.


It is only when your organization balances all three conditions (4) that you create the resilience of a sustainable organization.

Take Gail Bower's Sustainability Quotient Quiz

Would you like to learn more about the state of your organization? Take my brief Sustainability Quotient Quiz and find out where you rank.

Then, let’s get you scheduled for a complimentary call to discuss your results.

Here’s to your success in 2018.

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