Despite the fact that portions of the for-profit sector have created our current economic debacle, there is a lot that non-profits can learn from the for-profit world, particularly to help them out right now.
For example, strong fundraising is more important right now than ever. In order to help with the effectiveness of our fundraising efforts, we might want to learn from Microsoft's great video on the Advertiser vs. the Consumer. Network for Good has made it even easier for non-profits, remaking that classic video for the non-profit world.
Tony Hsieh took a small start-up, Zappos.com, and built it into a $1 billion business. In a recent talk he gave, he credits his accomplishment on creating an organizational culture that "encourages transparency, happiness, and passion for customer service."
-- "Zappos is committed to WOWing every customer."
-- Word of mouth helps to build repeat customers.
-- "Twitter helps build company culture."
-- "People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."
-- Commit to transparency (Twitter is a part of this, as is Zappos Insights where they share information on how they run the company)
-- "Hire slowly, fire quickly. Invest in training and developing your employees."
-- Think long term (sustainability)