Small nonprofits are lot more than just small. Sure budgets are tight, but in the face of constrained resources leaders of these organizations are forced to think outside the box. And since creativity loves a box to break out of, small nonprofits are also the engine of innovation in the nonprofit sector.
Small and startup organizations are a source of creative ideas and innovative methodologies that can inform the work of others in the social sector. Even if scale isn’t the ultimate end game for these groups, the work they do can inspire and influence the broader community. It’s much easier, and cheaper, to workshop new models for impact or fundraising traction at the small level, and then take pieces of what works into other groups who may be in a better position to sustain the work.
If a more innovative philanthropic sector is what we want, then we need to make it easier for organizations to startup, maintain, and even fail, so that we can collectively make the best use of the creativity of individuals and organizations to improve practices across the sector. That’s why at Tiny Opera House our mission is to remove administrative barriers to innovation through smarter systems and software resources.