Stanford Social Innovation Review includes a brilliant paper that is very useful for the social enterprise/nonprofit leadership field, Ten Nonprofit Funding Models. But as usual, the Bridgespan Group researchers are looking only at the largest nonprofits. Their models were created by looking only at the relatively small group of huge nonprofit orgs (The NonProﬁt Times’ “Top 100” list (from 2006) and the researchers’ list of 144 nonproﬁts founded since 1970 that have reached $50 million or greater in size).
For the vast majority of the sector’s organizations, these models fit sort of, but not perfectly. The Big Bettor, for example, on a smaller scale, ofter can have a quality of, um, Vanity Project and over time doesn’t tend to be sustainable without a transformation. And yet, it is a very common, and sometimes for a while quite successful model, financially. Board members and execs of the “regular-sized” organizations could use a framework of their own.
Also missing from this study (I think….and surprisingly…) are arts organizations, even major arts presenters. Wonder what Reynold Levy or Michael Kaiser have to say. And I wonder what leaders of the many local arts (and other) organizations have to say.
How do your the nonprofits you work or volunteer with fit these models?