Sustainability can be defined as “the capacity to maintain or improve the state and availability of desirable materials or conditions over the long term.”
Planning and positioning your nonprofit for sustainability is one of the most important processes that your organization must undertake. Careful planning can ensure that your organization has the best chance of providing services to the community for a longer period of time. Here are some strategies for creating a nonprofit sustainability:
1. Create a clearcut mission and vision statement
Sustainability includes the ever-important “ability.” What your non-profit is able to do is the essence of your mission and vision statement. These statements need to be sincere and align with your organizational goals. They should be created for the long and short-term.

2. Keep your visual and editorial messaging consistent across all mediums
Does your messaging align with your organization’s mission, vision and goals? Have you created an effective brand identity? And does your messaging reflect it? Are you maintaining a consistent look across channels? Are you incorporating your key differentiators into your messaging? These are all important questions.


3. Understand your target audience

Understanding and adapting to your target audience for programming and fundraising is another critical step in creating long-term sustainability. For donor development, here are several key fields:

Age
Gender
Location
Career Field
Motivations
Preferred Communication Channels
Personal Goals
Frustrations
Personality Type

4. Develop strategic partnerships in an effort to meet needs
As we stated last week, developing strategic partnerships can dramatically increase your nonprofit’s outreach ability and brand exposure. Your organization should identify partnership opportunities in which the value is equal to both parties involved. Strategic partnerships can help meet a specific need, acquire new contacts, expand the demographic/geographic reach for your brand and provide resource-sharing opportunities.

5. Identify and define organizational problem areas
In order to sustain your nonprofit and stay on track for the long-term, you need to identify and address organizational problem areas. Finding problem areas can be challenging, especially if they are not obvious ones. Also, spend time crunching the numbers. Know your industry so you can evaluate whether your numbers are positive in the space.

If you need a partner to help your organization plan for long-term sustainability, the Non-Profit Team is here for you. Contact our chief strategist, Andy Rose, at andy@nonprofitteam.com or (561) 945-9356.