Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

The Non-Profit Matrix

By Peter Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 04, 2010

I’ve been working with non-profit organizations for 14 years. In that time, I’ve compiled a matrix for non-profit formation built not only on my own experiences, but also on expert consensus. This structure, called the Non-Profit Best Practice Concurrence Matrix™ (The Non-Profit Matrix™, for short), was first composed in my thoughts and project notes, subsequently researched, and then finally assembled into structured document/presentation form in early 2009.

The Non-Profit Matrix deals with the roles of leaders, management, staff, and volunteers. It also addresses such fundamental areas as board composition, strategic planning, and business planning. The last mentioned area includes such items as asset review, budgeting and reporting, market research, communications/marketing activity, staffing, and appropriate use of technology.

At present the structure includes just over 50 principles for action that should be considered by most if not all non-profits. The Non-Profit Matrix seeks to encourage not only the tacit acceptance of its principles; rather, it seeks to encourage that the principles be embraced and discussed by the individuals who are responsible for enacting them.

An example of a specific (and very important) subject dealt with in The Non-Profit Matrix: board composition. A well composed board is vital to the success of a non-profit organization—and once you find yourself with an ineffective board, it may prove a difficult problem to rectify.

On the subject of board composition, The Non-Profit Matrix includes several principles, including “the board’s role and responsibility for setting the organization’s values and philosophies should be firmly established” and “each board member should understand the key elements necessary to the success of the organization”. Other principles encourage utilizing proper criteria when nominating board members, implementing various forms of accountability for the members, and planning for succession at key board positions.

The Non-Profit Matrix seeks not only to consider non-profit concerns per se, but also concerns that are universally applicable to considering profit and long-term value in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

At present The Non-Profit Matrix is not available for distribution and serves both as an internal consulting tool and as the foundation for several presentations (such as on Strategic and Business Planning for Non-Profits). However, if you have any questions about how its principles might be able to help your non-profit organization, please contact Trinity Consulting for an appointment. I will be happy to speak with you!

Peter Mirus is a business, marketing, and technology consultant with more than 20 years of experience working with companies and nonprofits, ranging from start-ups to large international organizations. From 2004-2014 he contributed articles on the Catholic Faith, culture, and business to the website.
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  • Posted by: - Jan. 06, 2010 9:18 AM ET USA

    My recommendation for sharing those papers stems from my personal experience with non-profits. First, most of them are organized by people who do not have a financial capability to affront the undertaking less so the expenses. Second, they need help a lot, and a sound guide for a business plan MAY BE the most needed in their beginnings. Third, anything that costs in those moments is seen with distrust because it is seen as a catch. Share first with an agreement to pay latter. You'll be surprised