Measuring Nonprofit Sustainability

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Is there a tool to measure nonprofit sustainability during times of economic distress? A new report by New York-based consultancy TCC Group, called "The Sustainability Formula," argues that its Core Capacity Assessment Tool can be used by charitable organizations to assess their effectiveness in four areas: adaptive capacity, leadership capacity, management capacity and technology capacity. The tool, which is administered independently and anonymously to nonprofit staff leaders and board members, asks questions designed to uncover problems that may not be readily apparent, but that can make the difference between thriving or going bust. Its evaluations of nonprofits, TCC says in the report, have "concluded that organizations that have strong 'internal leadership'," those with leaders who are mission focused, inclusive and inspiring, "are significantly more sustainable than those that do not." The report also notes that fundraising alone won't solve all nonprofit problems if other components required for sustainability, such as leadership, vision, outcomes and cost effectiveness, are lacking.