People will remain our focus for the next 20 years.
This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Burkhart Group. As I reflect upon these past twenty years, I am struck by how much nonprofit organizations have changed, and I am anxious to see what’s in store for the future.
The Burkhart Group began in 1998 with a single consultant, one phone, and one client. We grew into a dedicated team of professionals committed to providing nonprofit expertise to each client at a reasonable fee. Over the years, the company’s full team of professionals has supported over 45 clients from a broad range of industries.
More specifically, over the last 20 years, we’ve crafted over 40 strategic plans, coached 78 organization presidents, strengthened 60 nonprofit boards, and worked with hundreds of volunteers to advance their work with nonprofits.
Collaborating with a diverse collection of clients, in many cases as the Executive Director, has provided me with unique challenges that have contributed to two significant takeaways:
The board is key. The group dynamic of the board makes it hum. Board engagement is critical. You can have 8 great oarsmen in a boat, but if they aren’t in the right seats, the boat won’t move with speed and efficiency. The same applies to volunteer boards. Strong, sustainable nonprofit organizations begin with the right board.
The strategic plan provides direction. So many organizations wander from project to project without a well-defined mission and vision, or a strategic plan to help them get there. This road map becomes the path a strong board will follow to ensure success in reaching goals and advancing the organization.
With these two key elements in place, nonprofit groups can thrive.
Looking forward, I see new challenges for nonprofit organizations. Volunteers have less and less time, so that time must be used wisely. There is an even greater need to establish value. Both individual and corporate donors want to know their donations make a difference.
Successful organizations will realize that while “non” profit, they still need to operate in a professional and pragmatic manner. In terms of integrity and appropriate use of resources, nonprofits are held to a high standard.
As the Burkhart Group looks to the future, we are even more committed to boards and strategic planning. To that end, we have developed a 4-part board development series, which I have been delivering to nonprofit organizations throughout the country. In addition, I am extremely excited about our new nonprofit accelerator program which is showing real time results, enabling nonprofits to achieve a level of sustainable growth in a short, but intensive, period.
In addition, we’re exploring a new initiative at the firm that would be marketed to corporations versus nonprofits. We believe that corporate partnerships play an important role, and we are determined to make connections that will truly benefit both the company and the nonprofit.
Finally, I believe there are times when we all have said, “I could write a book.” Well, I am. About volunteers – the good, the bad, the ugly and the next generation. Stay tuned.
Thank you all for 20 years of collaboration. I look forward to another 20 years of serving our clients under our new name: The More Than Giving Co.
Founder and President
The More Than Giving Co.