What money can’t buy

Most nonprofits are built from the top down. 

You’ve surely seen it. A leadership team sits atop the organization and makes important decisions, assuming they have an accurate and comprehensive understanding of what’s going on in their community. Then they typically throw money at a problem, without actually solving it.

It turns out that top-down leadership often suffers a major flaw: a failure to consider and integrate input from the community.

“They’ve not actually taken the time to really listen to the community,” says Suzanne Torregano, the executive director of Electric Girls, a Louisiana-based nonprofit that equips girls with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to pursue careers in STEM fields.

If you do listen to the community, you’ll accomplish a lot more, because bottom-up service beats top-down funding any day of the week.