How to Think Like an Entrepreneur…for Non-Profits

  Non Profits have taken an enormous economic hit over the last few years.  It was looming on the horizon for many years but easy to ignore with an economy that was roaring.  The donor pool has shrunk while foundations have increased pressure to make up for the loss. The situation demands thinking that diverges from past practices.

Over the next few posts we will introduce some ideas that may help non-profits develop some new pathways for stabilization and growth.

Today we introduce the concept of the mindmap. The mindmap is a way of thinking visually. It starts with a blank paper in which your organization is the hub. It is a problem solving tool that is extremely useful because of the ability to move between ideas and build on them as they emerge.  it also allows you to develop the big picture while still considering the detail that you will need to execute ideas.  See the initial instructions below for ways to start.

This concept has been around for a long time but Tony Buzan articulated it in his book: The Mindmap Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential. Then he invented the software that makes it easy to use and save:

1. Start your mindmap with your organization in the center.

2. Create a spoke for your mission, another for your target audience, another for your current offerings, another for your current sources of funding, another for your organizational strengths.

3. Now, with your team, ask yourselves this question: What’s missing as it pertains to what we and others do? What isn’t being done – (don’t worry about feasibility yet) just list all of the things you think would help your target audience be better, stronger, etc.

In our next post, two days from now, we will teach you the next steps in creating more divergent thinking leading to new possible income opportunities that you might never have thought of before.

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