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Obsessions of Successful Nonprofits // Part 2

September 5, 2017 @ 1:30 PM4:30 PM

Obsessions of Successful Nonprofits

There is a commonly used saying in our society that goes something like: “Nonprofits need to think and act more like businesses.” One reason this phrase is so often repeated and so widely believed is because as a nation we are still figuring out how to effectively manage nonprofit organizations. More specifically, we lack a commonly understood nonprofit business model (at least one that is truly sustainable).

This series will be a facilitated dialogue with Matthew Downey, director of nonprofit services at the Johnson Center. His provocative insights are gleaned from 25 years working in the sector and an intense eight years in nonprofit capacity building. His conclusion is that nonprofits do not need to be more like businesses. They need to be more like nonprofits.

In an effort to better define what it means to be more like nonprofits the conversations will focus on the “obsessions of successful nonprofits.” While several of these obsessions are things businesses would never do, they are essential to nonprofit impact and sustainability. Are his obsessions your organization’s obsessions too?

Divided into three sessions (Aug 29, Sept 5, and Sept 12), the series allows participants the opportunity to thoughtfully and deeply engage in dialogue around the key tenants of sustainable nonprofit organizations. With the first session focusing on purpose & direction, community engagement, and strategy & learning within nonprofit organizations; the second session will cover the importance of inclusion, collaboration, and facilitation; and the third and final session will discuss successful branding techniques and revenue diversification.

This session’s key concepts:

  • Inclusion
  • Collaboration
  • Facilitation

Cost: $60

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Matthew Downey

Matthew Downey, M.P.A. is the nonprofit services program director for the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. He oversees the Johnson Center’s technical assistance and capacity-building services for nonprofit organizations. Learn more about Matthew.


September 5, 2017
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Event Category:


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
201 Front Ave SW, Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
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