The Whole Job

Commit to doing the whole job

Your nonprofit has specific functions and processes, as well as regulations it must follow. You spend and control cash, acquire facilities and equipment, hire and train a diverse team, manage information and much more. Sometimes you can fill gaps and create efficiencies by leveraging volunteer expertise, seeking opportunities for collaboration, or sharing back-office operations. All are effective ways to strengthen your nonprofit while reducing administrative costs. A weakness in any operational area can negate successes in others. Over time, without all the parts functioning well, the entire organization will suffer. Commit to doing “the whole job.”

Face the elevator door

With shifting economic cycles, things happen that can help or hurt an organization. You need to prepare yourself to capitalize on an opportunity (the elevator door opening) regardless of where your nonprofit may be in its lifecycle or in implementing its strategic plan.

Investing in organizational capacity contributes to excellence and impact. Commit to doing “the whole job.”

Conversation Starter

The Whole Job

A complete set of conversation starters to accompany the chapter.


The Whole Job Toolkit

A complete set of tools to accompany the chapter.

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8 Practical Insights for Nonprofit Leaders


Culture matters. It’s a core organizational asset.


Respecting and trusting your people is the foundation of all good management.


Always listen for and even seek out signs of trouble. Bad news is good news if you do something about it.


Develop “court sense” to see everything that’s happening around you, and to rapidly adjust to changes.


Commit to doing “the whole job.” Investing in organizational capacity contributes to excellence and impact.


With limited time and resources, it’s essential to prioritize and then focus.


Planning is essential but success comes from the implementation of your ideas. “Book It and Ship It.” Make a decision and manage the consequences.


To create a culture of accountability, reinforce individual ownership of problems. Always ask, “Who owns the monkey?”