Comparing Nonprofits

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.

2 Corinthians 10:12-13

I have a friend who makes greeting cards for fun. Whenever someone compliments her on the cards, she simply says, “I’m not creative, I’m just a really good copier.” She finds inspiration from others, and tries to recreate what she sees. 

That works for card making. That doesn’t work for nonprofits.

In 2 Corinthians, we find that comparing one to another doesn’t advance anyone. It’s a limiter because there’s only so much a human can do. But, if the standard is the calling, the sky is the limit. 

As a nonprofit, therefore, the best unit of measurement is your mission and not what another nonprofit is doing. Have in place a dashboard or some kind of metric of success. You’ll know where you are going, if you are getting there, and how the mission is being fulfilled. All without looking at another nonprofit.

It should be said that it’s unavoidable to not talk to other nonprofits. The best nonprofits are those that learn from others, and then implement those lessons in their own way. What works for one kind of nonprofit may not work for another.

If you look at another nonprofit for some positive comparisons to learn and grow, the same goes for comparing or judging another nonprofit. Each nonprofit is unique, in the passion they serve, the mission, the locale, and the vision. No judging allowed! 

Be cautious about judging. Instead, know what makes your nonprofit unique, take the best practice of others, and stay on mission. You, too, can be a great copier.

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© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

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