As CEO of UpMetrics, I have the pleasure of working closely with a variety of social impact organizations and funding sources. There are millions of mission-driven organizations all over the world improving the lives of those they serve, whether it be in affordable housing, health and education, or women’s empowerment, to name a few. Here’s the problem: while nonprofits are working to solve new challenges every day, the sector lacks a sustainable model that will help them scale their impact.
"Put simply, the current model is not set up for success, innovation, or system-wide impact. Still more troubling: we are not effectively matching capital to high-impact opportunities on a consistent basis."
By the Numbers:
There are 1.5 million nonprofits in the US alone. Most of these organizations have less than 3 months of operating reserves on hand. Without long term, flexible capital, nonprofits cannot recruit and maintain the staff they need to deliver high-quality services at subsidized rates.
The good news is that all hope is not lost. The people working in the nonprofit sector are bound together by a sense of mission and impact above all else. They are putting in the work and sharing their stories. Additionally, with the total dollar amount for all donations in the US topping $400 billion in 2018, we know that there is an ongoing commitment to supporting nonprofit organizations.
However, while the total dollar amount may seem encouraging, the way in which the funds are distributed cannot keep pace with operational needs. 75% of the $400B donated in 2018 was raised through personal relationships and fundraising events. Every dollar counts, of course, but these channels do not create real engagement between donors and nonprofit organizations.
Put simply, the current model is not set up for success, innovation, or system-wide impact. Still more troubling: we are not effectively matching capital to high-impact opportunities on a consistent basis.
All of the above is why I was inspired to co-found UpMetrics. In the coming weeks, I’ll share some further thoughts on how we are taking a collaborative approach to move the needle.
Topics we’ll discuss:
- Burn the Annual Report: It’s time for nonprofits and funders to come together for a collaborative conversation on how to define short- and long-term success metrics.
- Faster, More Flexible Resources: Let’s break down the foundation silos and come together around themes, geography, and data-driven goals. That means supporting community leadership that is committed to long-term change with sufficient (and flexible) operating capital to retain talent.
- Consistently Engage Individual Donors: $300B in donations in 2018 came from individual donors. It’s an amazing statistic. How can we consistently engage donors and build deeper relationships to ensure their support over the long term?
- Technology Built for the Sector: Too many nonprofits rely on large grants to pay for consultants to deliver custom-built tech, or struggle with CRM tools that aren’t set up to support their particular needs. We’re working to change all of that.
To all of the nonprofit executives, employees, and volunteers, thank you for all that you do. When I say I have the pleasure of working with you, I mean that. It’s an honor to assist, even in some small way, the work that you are doing to improve your communities. I’m excited to continue to collaborate around creating quality tools and services that can empower you in your work.
Let’s build a data-driven approach, together.
-Drew Payne, CEO
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