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Scalability is key to success in business. It pushes us to make our products affordable and accessible. Unfortunately, whenever we think about scalability,  we tend to focus on products or customers. It seems as the concept of scalability can only apply to transactional endeavors; thus only for profits businesses. However, I believe that scalability will be also the key to success in the nonprofit sector in the years to come. The difference is the focus. In business, we strive to scale our products or customers. In the nonprofit, we must learn to scale our supporters.  The most successful nonprofits are the one who are capable of scaling their base of champions.

Having worked in the nonprofit sector, I have seen too many executives discussing and figuring out ways to scale their programs or projects without ever thinking about how to scale their base of champions to make the specific program or project more sustainable. They assume automatically that a scaled free product will lead to an increase revenue. They become consumed by the number game(the excessive exaggeration of their impact or people reached) played by the majority of NGO and fail to realize that they cannot forever rely on the same base of champion.  For this reason, most nonprofit programs or projects do not last for a long time. They are in constant influx because the executives do not realize the two go hand in hand.  Unless these nonprofit leaders realize the value of scaling their base of supporters, they will never develop a sustainable project and turn their vision into reality. In business,  R&D departments through innovation play an essential role in helping for profits businesses design scalable products. In the nonprofit, a similar department through intentionality and planning can also help executives expand their base of champions beyond their monthly or annual fundraising events or gathering.




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