The last few years have been a rollercoaster for nonprofits nationwide, and to thrive, a certain evolution has taken place when it comes to the pursuit of revenue and overall operational IQ. Social TrendSpotter is pleased to showcase the recent results of a research study by our partners at Veris Consulting and Brittenford Systems on the Nonprofit Financial Outlook for 2013. It provides a snapshot of senior nonprofit leaders’ top priorities in 2013. Rising to the top of CEO agendas are new strategies for revenue optimization, board development, comprehensive strategic planning, and improving program metrics.

Veris Consulting also released the top five strategies of high-performing nonprofits for 2013 (which we are excited to note are closely related to Social TrendSpotter’s New Year’s Resolutions for the Social Sector):

  • #1: Rethink Diversification: Narrowing Focus to a Few Revenue Streams: Nearly half of nonprofits surveyed are rethinking revenue models and 44% focused on expanding development in 2013. A pivotal point was the need to shift away from broad-reaching revenue diversification to laser-focused strategies.
  • #2: Strategic Realignment: Adapting to Donor Goals: Corporate donors are increasingly sophisticated in their needs, becoming evermore interested in partnering with nonprofits whose goals mirror their own. Successful nonprofits are more closely aligning to a donor’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, workforce priorities and marketing objectives.
  • #3: Growing Up, Not Out: Strategic Planning & Resource-Savvy Strategies: In the face of fluctuating government funding and pervasive economic uncertainty, nonprofits are placing particular emphasis on comprehensive strategic planning and encouraging buy-in from the board regarding milestones, strategies, and tactics.
  • #4: Market with Metrics: Improve Data to Drive Revenue & Land Donors: Numbers speak volumes, especially to data-driven corporations and foundations (not to mention your board). Demonstrating value through a proven ability to move the needle on your nonprofit mission is crucial, which is why metrics are a must-have.
  • #5: Build a Better Board: It’s Time to Excite and Engage: Board engagement is also top of mind with nonprofit leaders. By involving the board early, nonprofit executives gain buy-in and educate along the way. It is important to include the board as messaging is developed to create an exciting cohesion on how the entire organization talks about the mission.


Adapted from full-text pieces available in the sidebar from Veris Consulting and Brittenford Systems. Special thanks to fellow colleague and TrendSpotter, John Gillespie, for sharing this information with our readers.

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