Reinventing the Nonprofit Sector – A Corona POV Series

I’ve been working in and with the nonprofit sector for almost 20 years now. Over that time I’ve observed significant changes. The visual below highlights the subtle yet significant shifts over the past 15 years.


Over the years I’ve witnessed first-hand how nonprofits approach their strategic work – and how that approach has evolved. The mid-2000’s saw the capacity building movement come of age. More funders were concerned with building and sustaining internal capabilities and systems. We focused on people, process and physical plant. We created more capable leaders at the board and staff levels.

The advent of the Internet revolutionized business models and accelerated the pace of change. Before the web, a five year strategic plan really lasted for five years! The Internet unleashed increasing calls for transparency and accountability. Did we have outcomes for our programs? How well did we manage our money? Some nonprofits explored entrepreneurial efforts with greater intensity as the lines between for-profit and nonprofit began to blur.

Today, nonprofit leaders are tasked with setting strategy and leading when there seems to be more uncertainty than certainty. Now we engage in real-time strategy. Leaders need to approach strategy as a 24/7 endeavor (Check out my article on

If you step back and look, you can see the forces at play. In my next blog I will explore what I call sector transformers and macro disrupters. We will explore them in order of magnitude, beginning with #1: “You don’t have to be a 501c3 to do good.”


View each part of this Corona POV Series:

#1 Nonprofit Sector Transformer and Macro Disruptor- You don’t have to be a non-profit to “do good”.

#2 Nonprofit Sector Transformer and Macro Disruptor- The rise of the social entrepreneur.

#3 Nonprofit Sector Transformer and Macro Disruptor- Use of social enterprise practices.

#4 Nonprofit Sector Transformer and Macro Disruptor – Shifting donor expectations.