Forces for Good: The Six Practices for High-Impact Nonprofits
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What the authors discovered after closely examining these high-impact nonprofits came as a surprise. They initially assumed that there was something inherent to these organizations that led to great impact—and that success was directly tied to organizational growth or management. Instead, they learned that becoming a high-impact nonprofit is not just about building a great organization, and then expanding it to reach more people. Rather, high-impact nonprofits work with and through other organizations and individuals to create more impact than they could have ever achieved alone.

High-impact nonprofits build social movements and fields; they transform business, government, other nonprofits, and individuals; and they change the world around them. In the end, six patterns crystallized into the form presented here—the six practices that high-impact nonprofits use to achieve extraordinary impact. These nonprofits:

  1. Work with government and advocate for policy change
  2. Harness market forces and see business as a powerful partner
  3. Convert individual supporters into evangelists for the cause
  4. Build and nurture nonprofit networks, treating other groups as allies
  5. Adapt to the changing environment
  6. Share leadership, empowering others to be forces for good

In addition, high-impact nonprofits have also mastered the basics needed to sustain their impact: attracting and retaining great people; finding sustainable sources of funding; and investing in their infrastructure and capacity.

To read more about, and understand each of these six practices, we encourage you to buy the book. In it you’ll find a much more detailed description of each practice, along with compelling examples of how the 12 high-impact nonprofits employ them in order to have more impact. Each chapter also includes tips for beginning to implement the practice in your own organization.

The new Updated and Revised edition of Forces for Good (Wiley 2012) includes all of the original material published in the first edition, as well as new chapters on how the 12 high-impact nonprofits have not only survived but thrived in the Great Recession, and fresh research on how local and smaller nonprofit organizations apply the six practices to deepen impact in their communities.

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