Non-Profits Should Ask: What Does Success Look Like?

[ 0 ] April 1, 2014 |

One of the greatest challenges for non-profit organizations is “creating a meaningful framework where everybody really understands exactly what success looks like,” says Michael Slaby, the former chief integration and innovation officer for Obama for America 2012 . “Inside the (Obama) campaign, we get a lot of credit for being great at analytics and data science, but we operate in a really simple, analytical code,” says Slaby, managing partner and head of mission for Timshel and advisor to Bright Pink, Invisible Children, Pos Rep and Fuck Cancer. “If you’re starting to talk about the emotional impact of cancer, and increasing awareness and early detection of cancer, the metrics aren’t as clear.”

So how can non-profits measure “success?” Watch genConnect’s interview with Michael Slaby:

Michael Slaby

Michael Slaby

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Non-profit organizations often begin as a passion project, but then grow into something even more meaningful as they reach larger audiences, Slaby says.

Fuck Cancer, for example, started with a T-shirt that Yael Cohen made for her mom, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

“I never intended to start a charity,” Cohen says on the organization’s Web site. “I never intended to dedicate my life to this. I just wanted to help my mom.”

Cohen’s non-profit focuses on changing society’s perception of cancer and spreading the message of early detection.

“It’s not an organization that is focused on the curing of cancer,” Slaby says. “There are lots of other organizations doing research and other things. It’s about dealing with the process.”

So non-profits like Cohen’s must first ask themselves, “What does success look like?” Slaby says.

“We start building programs and capacities about driving the answer to that that are measurable and identifiable so that we’re not managing from anecdote and instinct, which is our instinct a lot of the time,” he says.

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Category: Charities & Causes, Giving Back, Videos, Views on the News

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About Michael Slaby: Passionate and committed to helping humanity save the world, Michael Slaby is Managing Partner at Timshel and among the world’s leaders in digital strategy, technology, and how together they can elevate purpose-driven organizations. Previously he [...]
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