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Characteristics that Define an Effective Nonprofit Organization

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, an affinity group of the Council on Foundations, defines an effective nonprofit as one that has "the ability to fulfill its mission through a blend of sound management, strong governance, and a persistent rededication to achieving results." Establishing a nonprofit organization requires a full understanding of the key characteristics that will be important to future funders. They include a vital mission, clear lines of accountability, adequate facilities, reliable and diverse revenue streams, and high-quality programs and services.

As you embark upon the first steps of legally incorporating a nonprofit organization, drafting the bylaws, and building a board of directors, it is essential to keep these characteristics in mind.

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