Nonprofit leaders must adapt to sudden growth for continued success

April 7, 2014

Nonprofit leaders must adapt to sudden growth for continued success

Like all businesses, nonprofits can experience growing pains when demand for services spike. Funding, while important, is not the largest obstacle either. When growth occurs, another major obstacle is an increased need to hire more employees and delegate their work.

According to The Globe and Mail, it's as important for leaders at an organization to know what they can do as it is to know what they can not.  When a nonprofit is in its early stages, leaders have an easier time overseeing multiple departments, engaging donors and managing fundraisers. However, as demand increases, nonprofit leaders can quickly find themselves spread too thin.

A key step to improving delegation is recognizing that others at the organization can do some of the tasks that the leader has traditionally completed. Start by identifying employees at the nonprofit are prepared to take on more responsibility. Also, HR managers should review resumes and sit down with staff to analyze who has existing skill sets that could be utilized throughout the organization.

Doing too much can stifle success
Managers who are not willing to delegate and change as the business grows can quickly reverse the course. Employees can also lose motivation if not properly engaged to feel like they are part of the overall success of the nonprofit. Additionally, donors will notice if the organization seems incapable of handling growth and could scale back their funding.

However, nonprofits also need to ensure they currently have the best members on staff, and if resources exist, the willingness to bring on more people. Hiring at this stage is pivotal and managers must seek out talent that will help the business continue to grow and meet new demand.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY