Number One or Two—Or Not at All

Experienced strategic managers learn that if an organization cannot be number one or two in its “market” then it should evolve elsewhere. Below that level is a difficult place to sit. I call organizations that end up there “the living dead.”
In the nonprofit world there are too many organizations focused on the same model. The funding and people resources end up spread over multiple organizations competing for the same important space.
Getting the various competing organizations to merge or partner is almost impossible. Only the funders will be able to make the necessary changes but few funders are willing to force these shifts.
If you can’t realistically hope to be number one or two in your nonprofit field or focus — or for a more local nonprofit, in your region— you should reconsider your focus. You will be doing a favor not only to your own organization, but to the entire sector.

  • Is your organization number one or number two in your nonprofit field?
  • If not, what are the next steps that should be considered?