Reaching Scale

Where does your nonprofit sit on the Sustainability Spectrum?

Many people often describe their organization as sustainable when they really mean resilient.
A resilient organization has a steady stream of grants and donations from year to year. But one change in a foundation's focus or the loss of an event sponsor can abruptly shift the organization back to vulnerable.

The Sustainability Spectrum is a tool that helps leaders assess their nonprofit's sustainability and readiness for scale.

Most nonprofits move between the vulnerable and resilient stages of the Spectrum. They may have the funds to meet today's needs, but growth will require dollar-for-dollar additional support.

Investing occurs when the organization has discovered a potential revenue generating business model and is building it with time, attention, and capital.

If the model is strong enough, the organization reaches Sustainable - 100% of expenses are covered by revenues. At this point, the organization only needs philanthropy to help it establish a new program, office, or move to a new geography.

When the organization gets beyond 100%, it can use its own excess revenues to help grow and expand.

When we have enough scalable Impact Organizations in our communities, we will begin to truly see our problems solved for the long-term.

Learn more about the steps you can take to move your organization to sustainable.


of nonprofits are challenged with reaching financial sustainability