Three Ways To Expand Your Nonprofit Program

June 10, 2023

As we move into the second half of 2021, nonprofit leaders are looking for proven ways to expand their social-impact programs. The need is greater than ever before in many communities and the services that nonprofits provide are essential to building healthy communities and strong families. From fellowship and volunteer programs to mentorships and community services, growing your programs and expanding your services is a logical next step for many nonprofits this year. To ensure you activate a smart growth plan for your nonprofit, consider one of these proven models: hub-and-spoke, location-based growth, or services expansion.

The Hub-and-Spoke Organizational Design

To implement the hub-and-spoke organizational design, consider this definition of strategic services centralization: the hub-and-spoke model arranges delivery of services into a network of anchors (hubs) that provide a full set of services, supported by spokes (complementary partners), that provide limited services. For nonprofits looking to grow, partnering with organizations that are already serving your community or adjacent communities, can help.

Whether your organization serves as the main hub providing a diverse set services, or you join a network already in place to offer your limited services to even more people, the hub-and-spoke model is a tried-and-true organizational structure. By working together, your partnership can help reduce the cost of marketing and outreach needed to reach more clients, with collaborative support to better serve your community. According to this Nonprofit Quarterly article, the Athens’ Farmers’ Market’s implementation of the hub-and-spoke model helped them grow.

Expand to new areas

Another way to grow your nonprofit’s reach is to expand your service offerings into new areas. When adding different services seems too complex, this growth strategy is to expand into new markets and serve new people. If you’re planning growth for the first time, consider selecting just one new area to launch your new growth strategy. With that experience under your belt, you’ll have the lessons learned to expand in the future.

Focusing on one new area helps your staff to better understand the added administrative, volunteer, budget, and other support you will need to expand your nonprofit’s reach successfully, while continuing a high-level of service. By focusing one new geographic area for expansion and replicating your services model there, you can collect important data on what’s needed to expand your reach, while identifying challenges and opportunities for smart expansion in the future.

illustration of nonprofit work

Adding new services

Finally, adding new services is another way to grow your nonprofit. Designing and launching new service offerings that support your current mission and vision can expand your reach to serve more people and communities, while keeping to the core mission your staff, volunteers, and funders expect. To begin, you must ensure you identify a true need for services in your community and collect strong evidence that new services from your organization could help solve the need.

By identifying who in your community is already responding to the need, you can find potential partners to support your work. For example, if another organization is already serving the community’s need, but requires additional capacity or support, partnering with them may be a way to grow your nonprofit in a cost-effective way. However, if no partners are available to support the need you’ve identified in your community, launching new services that align with your current mission is a great way to expand your reach and serve even more people.

When you’re looking to grow your nonprofit, the hub-and-spoke, location-based growth, or services expansion models can help. At WeThrive, we help nonprofits looking to expand and grow, no matter what your strategic growth plan entails. With technology solutions built specifically for nonprofits like you, we provide the tools your team needs to plan, launch, and measure your growth strategies. Learn more about how our team can help you gather and use data to improve your services and reach your growth goals today.

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