Nonprofit Thrivability


Nonprofit Thrivability

The Purpose

Effective organizations thrive when they focus on their mission and the economic considerations necessary to sustain it. This is especially true for nonprofits, which rely on steady funding and consistent innovation to fulfill their missions amid an ever-changing landscape. While taking measures to adopt this innovative approach can help nonprofits expand their impact, the daily reality of managing several priorities to simply maintain a high standard of service can make it challenging for these organizations to properly invest in themselves and harness its potential. Given the chance to work toward greater thrivability through structured opportunities and expert guidance, nonprofits can evolve in ways that strengthen the good they create in our world.

Strengthening the Impact

The Patterson Foundation’s Nonprofit Thrivability initiative shares opportunities for organizations to strengthen their mission impact by embracing a thrivable operating model. Nonprofit Thrivability works by connecting nonprofits with expertise and resources to learn concepts like strategic decision-making while adopting and implementing entrepreneurial principles to generate the revenue necessary to support and expand their operations.


Select any of the endeavors below to learn more about the Nonprofit Thrivability initiative’s work:


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about Nonprofit Thrivability…

Why does The Patterson Foundation support this opportunity?

The Patterson Foundation believes in the power of strengthening the efforts of people, organizations, and communities through philanthropy. Through Nonprofit Thrivability, The Patterson Foundation is creating opportunities for regional nonprofits to invest in themselves to strengthen the impact their work has in the lives of the people and communities they serve.

What was Advancing Mission Thrivability?

Advancing Mission Thrivability was an opportunity presented by The Patterson Foundation for regional nonprofits to learn a mission-centric, economically-informed approach to decision-making for their programs, products, and services. Participating organizations were introduced to this decision-making approach over a series of online learning opportunities led by No Margin, No Mission, a national consulting firm and social enterprise. Following the online sessions, organizations with demonstrated interest, opportunity, and preparedness to dive deeper into the work had the opportunity to receive 1:1 consulting support from No Margin, No Mission. As a gift to our region’s nonprofits, The Patterson Foundation covered all expenses associated with the online sessions and consultation participating organizations received through their participation in Advancing Mission Thrivability.

What is Fueling Dynamic Fundraising?

The Patterson Foundation created Fueling Dynamic Fundraising to explore the power of the partnership between a nonprofit’s board, staff, and CEO within the context of fundraising. Through an orientation webinar and a six-week virtual course custom designed in partnership with The Fund Raising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Fueling Dynamic Fundraising will uncover the significance of and possibilities resulting from a strong and vibrant board/staff/CEO partnership dynamic and how it can inform a successful fundraising program. To help participating nonprofits implement their learnings and explore new possibilities, The Patterson Foundation will provide 1:1 consulting support between course sessions and for one year following the conclusion of the course.

What was the HundredX Pilot Project?

The Patterson Foundation piloted a project to connect regional nonprofits with HundredX's Express Feedback for Good™ program. HundredX is a mission-based data and analytics company. In its desire to help nonprofit organizations within its business model, HundredX created the Express Feedback for Good™ program. Through the program, nonprofit organizations can generate funding by inviting stakeholders to answer a brief series of strategic questions to aid consumer research. As a pilot, The Patterson Foundation explored this opportunity to create a model that funders and nonprofit organizations may use to generate new revenue streams. While this was an interesting learning opportunity for participating nonprofit organizations, and it was generally successful, the inability to scale this program resulted in TPF declining to continue.

What is Margin & Mission Ignition?

By engaging No Margin, No Mission, a national consulting firm and social enterprise, The Patterson Foundation is igniting interest in earned-income possibilities. Margin & Mission Ignition (MMI) is an initiative where nonprofits who have demonstrated leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture are invited to undertake a 30-month rigorous business-planning, implementation, and coaching process that builds thrivability and strengthens their organization in countless ways.

Who is No Margin, No Mission?

No Margin, No Mission is a national consulting practice that has partnered with The Patterson Foundation for more than seven years to help strengthen nonprofits on Florida’s Suncoast. No Margin, No Mission’s Managing Partners and Principals, Michael Oxman and Larry Clark, are thought-leaders and experts in nonprofit thrivability who have worked with organizations across the country to help boost their entrepreneurial capacity, revenue, and mission impact.

What is thrivability and why is it important?

Thrivability is the degree to which a person, place, thing, or idea can thrive. Since the onset of COVID-19, decision-making — especially within nonprofits — has been disrupted and has become based on survival alone. The Patterson Foundation is committed to strengthening people, organizations, and communities. Through that lens, it became vital to The Patterson Foundation’s efforts to offer an opportunity for organizations and staffers to address and analyze their current situations — including programs, products and services they offer, along with staffing/volunteering — through a new lens of mission-centric, economically informed decision-making practices. It is more critical than ever before to ensure organizational decisions are mission-aligned. Doing so will help nonprofits and those they serve thrive into the future.

How is Advancing Mission Thrivability different from Margin & Mission Ignition?

Advancing Mission Thrivability and Margin & Mission Ignition both center around thrivability for nonprofit organizations. The main distinction is in the approach. Advancing Mission Thrivability was a short-term (4–8 weeks) learning opportunity. Margin & Mission Ignition is a long-term (30 months) commitment. Advancing Mission Thrivability approached thrivability through the lens of mission-centric, economically informed decision-making, while Margin & Mission Ignition focuses primarily on earned-income ventures as a way to diversify funding and increase mission impact in the community.

Who can I contact about Nonprofit Thrivability?

For more information about Fueling Dynamic Fundraising, contact initiative lead Sara Leonard:

For more information about Margin & Mission Ignition, contact senior consultant Michael Corley:

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