Adapted from my Amazon review:
From the Nonprofit Times back in 2005, it was said that about one million nonprofits exist. Then in the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2011, it was stated that 12 million baby boomers want to start a nonprofit.
As I read Deirdre Maloney’s “The Mission Myth” I wondered: How many of these are even effective and efficient with the 4 M’s? And how many will actually give a hoot about any of the 4 M’s once they start their nonprofit?
What are the 4 M’s? According to Deirdre, they’re management, money, marketing and measurement.
This isn’t giving too much away. After all, there is much depth to them in the book which is divided into 6 Parts and 55 chapters. Everything from the board of directors and time management, to leadership and communication skills. There are other touchy topics which might spark a new idea, or make others uncomfortable.
But I was wondering when an actual nonprofit veteran, who has been there and done that, would just finally say it without remorse: Run your nonprofit like a business.
That’s the main umbrella theme of the book, but fortunately she says that you shouldn’t lose the heart and soul of your mission. She makes a heavy distinction between doing good, and doing good well. Her message is that we must forego the impression that it only takes heart, soul, and mission to be a truly successful organization.
This is a strong testament. Some may nod in agreement, some may faint in disbelief. But like other reviewers and nonprofit veterans here have echoed, so much in the business world also crosses over into the non-profit realm.
For example, Marketing is still needed to educate and communicate to your audiences. So is Measurement to prove to stakeholders that you are not only doing what you promised but holding yourself accountable and making true impact. Money and handling is still important too as it touches upon every part of your organization. And of course, strong management skills and leadership to ensure that the core of the organization runs smoothly and efficiently.
After all, how do you convince others that your cause and mission is worth fighting for? How do you convince stakeholders that you are the right leaders for the mission? Something tells me that the answers are embedded in the 4 M’s.
With “The Mission Myth” The writing style is pithy and succinct. This is refreshing especially for heavy topics like money and management. Despite it being divided into 6 parts and 55 chapters, it is a highly actionable book in which you can readily synthesize and apply.
The Mission Myth is practical for the inquisitive, open-minded, yet busy nonprofit leader. It’s a rare gem that no nonprofit should overlook.
You can buy it at Amazon.