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Seven Characteristics of Resilient Nonprofits

Updated: May 13


Photo of Volunteers lifting construction frame

If there's one thing nonprofit leaders can be certain of, it is that the world is ever changing. Whether it be managing day to day staffing needs or responding to a global health pandemic, how an organization adapts reveals how resilient it is. Here we share Seven Characteristics of Resilient Nonprofits from consultant Diana Scearce from her 2020 article in National Center for Family Philanthropy.


  1. Purpose driven (A galvanizing commitment to mission, meaning, and values)

  2. Clear eyed (Challenges faced head on while maintaining faith in ultimate success)

  3. Future oriented Forward-looking planning practices for navigating an uncertain future)

  4. Open (Intentional communication with internal and external stakeholders)

  5. Empowered (Inclusive organizational culture that embraces shared leadership)

  6. Committed to self-renewal (Space created for rest and rejuvenation)

  7. Connected (Supported by personal relationships, institutional links, and community networks)

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