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10 Things We’d Like to Tell Every New Philanthropist: Lesson 7

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Lesson #7: “Non-profits move so slowly; it takes forever to make decisions”

Yes, there are some non-profits that are inefficient, just like some for-profits. But more often than not, the pace and decision-making style of a non-profit is more consensus-driven because of its constituencies, communities, and clients.

Their missions and decision makers are, on average, more diffuse and varied and the goals more numerous. It is just a different context in which works gets done and goals achieved.  It dictates a different kind of strategy and tactics. This does not mean that any organization, non-profit or for-profit, should accept mediocrity, unnecessary bureaucracy, or ineffectiveness. It does mean that, as a donor, you need to know you are working with a different “industry” with a different set of norms and rules.

Paul S.

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