Fairmount InSights

After more than a year of “adjusting,” nonprofits are realizing that hybrid models of operating and service delivery are the new normal. While many programs and events are quickly moving back to in-person status, now is the time for leaders to reimagine their methods of engagement in the long run, using the tough and valuable lessons of the last year to guide them.

As we move out of crisis and into recovery, technology-based initiatives must proactively anticipate the needs and interests of nonprofit audiences. Funders and other stakeholders want to see organizations widening their scope or impact as a result of these advancements, even as many programs return to in-person methods or need additional capacity to meet these goals. Considering the sustainability of the approach and its alignment with mission are critical factors for success. 

Fairmount clients are talking to our teams to determine what resources they can leverage or monetize for alternative sources of revenue. We’ve seen exciting examples from across the sector. A human services client has developed innovative online programming that has attracted interest from peer providers in other regions and is opening pathways to new collaborations and resource opportunities. A youth workforce program rooted in equity is seizing the moment to advance its growth goals by piloting technical assistance consulting services to peers. Clients with underutilized physical assets are considering how to make use of available facilities, like conference rooms, kitchens, or performance space, for affordable rental and greater community access.

Many Fairmount clients – and yes, us too! – are also navigating the way technology will affect future plans for events, meetings, and gatherings. While convening 25 board members from all corners of the region is a much easier proposition on Zoom, interpersonal dynamics, nonverbal communication, and the energy that face-to-face communication creates are still valuable and important to consider, especially in relation to the goals of each gathering. We can help nonprofits strategically align resources and technology to successfully engage your communities towards your mission-focused goals and outcomes.

Lastly, technology trends and environmental factors will likely inspire and accelerate organizations’ plans to collaborate, affiliate, or even merge in the coming years. As city and state governments re-evaluate their budgets and philanthropic leaders continue to reassess their priorities, the shifting availability of funding could make industry consolidation inevitable. While these dynamics might trigger a scarcity or deficit mindset as nonprofits manage resource concerns, thoughtful organizations will view them as opportunities to creatively build partnerships that will strengthen programs and yield sustained levels of impact. We consider the latter an abundance mindset.

Whether your organization is redesigning service delivery models, repositioning its unique skillsets as revenue generators, or contemplating anything from a program collaboration to a full merger, Fairmount’s strategic guidance can help you identify opportunity within the current uncertainty and move ahead with the confidence and readiness to deepen your nonprofit’s impact. 

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