This blog by Aaron Hurst, Demystifying Scaling, is shared from the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
At some point in the life of a nonprofit, it’s likely that a nonprofit leader will consider scaling their organization to maximize impact. Many nonprofits assume that this simply implies large-scale growth and is attainable only by well-funded celebrity organizations. As Chip and Dan Heath highlight in their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, ambiguity is the enemy of taking that first step to reach your goals.
The nonprofit sector is extremely diverse, and there is neither a one-size fits all model nor a single path to scaling greatness. However, the development of a common framework for scaling impact is both possible and necessary–not only to maximize a nonprofit’s impact, but also to help funders better support nonprofits considering large-scale change.
This series is intended for funders and nonprofits interested in investing in proven scaling models. We will provide a lens through which funders can understand the unique circumstances surrounding their nonprofit grantee and identify the approach that works best for them. We also will provide nonprofits with some key insights–including characteristics of effective scaling models and examples of organizations that exhibit these traits – as they design a clear model to scale their organizations’ impact.
This is the first of a five-part series on developing a common framework for nonprofits to scale for impact.