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Winning Strategies

Creating and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage

Strategy and sustainability are today's key buzzwords. They embrace ideas and concepts about how to be more competitive and to enhance your long-term impact. Nonprofit leaders should ask themselves:

  • Do your activities match your mission?
  • What distinguishes your organization from others in the field?
  • What is the competitive advantage you enjoy that can be maintained over time.

This two-day program focuses on three separate components of organizational survival and success: mission, finance and strategy. Just as every organization should reexamine its mission every 3-5 years, organizations should also review their revenue sources and mix. Mission and finance are linked by a coordinated set of actions that define your organization's strategy. The goal for this program is that participants leave with a better sense of the actions they and their organization can take to create and sustain a competitive advantage in carrying out the mission.

Upcoming Sessions

  • Apply Online
    November 2-3, 2015
  • Apply Online
    November 7-8, 2016
  1. CEOs, Executive Directors, and Key Board Leaders
  2. Funders, Investors, and Grant Makers
  3. Consultants and Nonprofit Advisors

During this course, you will learn to:

  1. Learn how to balance/rebalance mission and finances for sustainability
  2. Understanding the organization’s strategy and how to build a sustainable competitive advantage
  3. Developing and implementing strategy as a continuous cycle through smart strategic planning
  4. Understand how well developed strategic decisions can improve your sustainability

Mission, Finance, Sustainability Trade-Off

  1. How choices nonprofits make in mission and finance decisions help explain success and failure
  2. Starting with dichotomy of mission/finance and then integrating these elements into strategy by looking at a case study on the nonprofit organization, NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). This case study will allow participants to view a nonprofit organization through its lifecycle, from start-up to established organization

Understanding Strategic Contexts

  1. Defining strategy and why/how organizations of various sizes need strategies
  2. Understand your organization’s objectives and economic environment
  3. Assess the organization’s assets, capabilities and constraints

Competitive Advantage and Its Implications

  1. Understand the sources of competitive advantage
  2. Determine your competitive advantage
  3. Apply tools to strategic planning/long-range planning

Strategic Plans that Get Off the Shelf

  1. Consider the strategy change model as an alternative to traditional strategic planning that gets the plan off the shelf
  2. Gain experience thinking through the various factors that influence the process and its potential success

Case Study

  1. NFTE II – case where McKinsey helps a 10-year old nonprofit, NFTE, think through strategic choices of how to best implement its programs which compels organizations or leaders to focus on value added programs and what the organization produces
  2. NFTE Case develops three strategic options (strategic partner, direct service delivery and contracted services delivery) which class will discuss. Participants will then focus on what NFTE did – strategy choice – why and how it was implemented
Donald Haider - Professor of Strategy Director of the Center for Nonprofit Management

Michael Mazzeo - Associate Professor of Strategy

Jennifer Paul - Assistant Director, Center for Nonprofit Management, Kellogg School of Management

Michelle Shumate - Associate Professor, School of Communication, Northwestern University

Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall

Kellogg Conference Center
340 East Superior Street
Maps and Directions

Programs typically start promptly at 8:30 am and end by 5:00 pm each day. Once you have registered and paid for a program, you will receive a detailed schedule which includes daily start/end times, session titles, and faculty names.

Program Fees
All two and three-day programs cost $950.00 each. Up to 50% scholarships are available for all of our nonprofit executive education programs for those working in nonprofit organizations.

Application Deadline
The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay in Chicago.
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