- Get started now and keep it simple.
- Use data to design programs — not just to measure progress.
- Provide benefits for and get support from key stakeholders.
- Focus on your core mission and forge partnerships for the rest.
- Present the results in a way that ensures that they will be used.
They go on to say:
“One lesson from the private sector that nonprofits routinely ignore is to work together on non-core things and focus your resources on what you do best.
Far too many nonprofits spend far too much money and resources developing custom data crunching tools, said Fruchterman. In the business world, like-minded companies use the same back end technology and save their energy to compete at what they are really good at.
NGOs should therefore join forces to create tools that all like-minded groups can use.
There’s a model for this: A few years ago a few dozen environmental organizations, foundations and institutions, including big names such as Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund, joined together to form the Conservation Measures Project. The idea was to create a common project management platform for conservation projects — just as companies would in the construction industry, for example.
The program called Miradi (a Swahili word meaning “project” or “goal”) is available online under an open standards protocol. The basic structure is the same, allowing organizations to tweak it for particular needs.”