Critical Success Factor 5: Proportionate Allocation of Resources

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The social enterprise model being contemplated must not require a disproportionate allocation of resources, which could impair the mission.

What essential resources are needed?

1. Financial

2. Infrastructure

  • Job Task Analysis: defines what needs to be done and who will do it
  • Organizational Design: defines the management and reporting structure
  • Electronic Records Management: defines how information is stored digitally
  • Paper Records Management: defines how information is stored physically
  • Work Space Planning: defines how workspace is functionally configured
  • Service Delivery Process: defines how your core operations work
  • Operations Manual: defines how to perform, measure and improve key processes

For more information on infrastructure resources and a free PowerPoint document, visit Equilibria Blog on Infrastructure

3. Staffing

Assuming that adequate funding to grow the enterprise is available internally, or can be affordably obtained, and that infrastructure capacity is available without sapping resources needed to support the nonprofit’s core mission, then the critical question is whether the organization has enough of the right people, with the necessary hard and soft skills to launch, manage and grow the social enterprise without endangering delivery of the core mission promise. For a quick and very informative article on hard and soft skills, see PeopleSkills.pdf.

Since most nonprofits have budgetary restraints that limit their ability to increase their currently over-tasked staff, how can they address the staffing support needs of a social enterprise?

Some options:

  • Access skill-based pro bono volunteers from organizations like or
  • Recruit skill-based board members to volunteer for interim operational roles
  • Re-purpose current staff when appropriate

Please post comments to this blog about other staffing strategies that your organization has used successfully. This will be of great value to our readers!

Final thoughts

As I mentioned in the last post (Funding, Resources and Culture), solid leadership at the top – and at every level of your organization must be nurtured in order to earn buy-in for your social enterprise. The culture shift that results will not be at the expense of mission, but in greater support of it, because you will have created another revenue stream to afford additional staff and greater capacity building.

We covered a lot of important topics in this post, so please feel free to e-mail me at jstoynoff@Synthesis.Biz with any questions you may have – and I’ll reply ASAP.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we’ll take a closer look at the sixth critical success factor for a social enterprise: It must be scalable and sustainable.


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