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2 Nonprofits - Same Mission - 2 Different Outcomes

Nonprofit 1

A half-century ago SERV started small with a passionate team of volunteers aligned around the mission. Each teammate contributed resources to support the mission and invited their friends to join them.

A dozen years ago, a community partner approached SERV’s leadership offering to help SERV grow to meet the community's expanding need. SERV’s leadership turned down the offer.

SERV's growth leveled off at the comfort level of the leaders. Today, over 20 volunteers provide the same consistent level of community service on a limited budget they have been known to provide.


Nonprofit 2

THRIV was founded 13 years ago in the same community with the same mission as SERV.  It also started as an all-volunteer organization. As the organization grew, THRIV moved into a larger space and added paid staff.


In 2019, a community partner challenged THRIV to grow its mission impact by offering a new operating framework to better serve families. Leadership said yes. With clarity and alignment, leadership implemented the plan. Paid staff expanded including adding an Executive Director.  Less than a year later COVID hit, causing many organizations to shut down. With support from multiple community partners, THRIV stayed open serving more families than ever during this difficult season.


THRIV's leadership actively builds partnerships and invites champions to join its mission. In 2021, 1423 volunteers contributed over 21,600 hours. Its revenue from donations and grants totaled 100 times more than SERV's revenue, allowing THRIV to serve over 4800 families with life-building resources.


SERV and THRIV offer two mission-driven approaches to growth and change.

"What got you here won't take you there." - Marshall Goldsmith

What will take you there?

Embrace Change

THRIV's willingness to embrace change and accept support from their community partner, led to significant growth and impact. Change can be daunting, but being open to new ideas and strategies, especially when they align with the mission, can lead to positive outcomes.


Grow Champions

THRIV's partnerships proved to be invaluable in their growth journey. Connecting with champions that share your values and goals can provide resources, expertise, and support that can propel your organization forward.


Invest in Leadership

Both organizations started as volunteer-driven initiatives, but THRIV's decision to invest in paid staff, including an Executive Director, helped them scale their operations effectively. Strong leadership is essential for guiding an organization through growth and change.


Focus on Mission Impact

THRIV's focus on expanding their mission impact rather than maintaining the status quo allowed them to serve more families, even during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping your mission at the forefront of decision-making can drive innovation and adaptation.


Communication and Storytelling

Effective communication and storytelling are key in engaging champions and rallying support for the mission. THRIV's ability to articulate their vision, garner support from champions, and mobilize resources contributed to their success.




You may be hesitant to change. It's important to recognize that growth often requires leaders to step out of its comfort zone and embrace new opportunities. By staying focused on mission, investing in leadership, and growing champions, your organization can grow impact in your community.


Here's to stepping out of your comfort zone to grow mission impact,

Wes Legg

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