05/15/2012 05:59 pm ET Updated Jul 15, 2012

'Non-profits Move So Slowly; It Takes Forever to Make Decisions'

Yes, there are some non-profits that are inefficient, just like some for-profits. But more often than not, the pace and decision-making style of a non-profit is more consensus-driven because of its constituencies, communities, and clients.

Their missions and decision makers are, on average, more diffuse and varied and the goals more numerous. It is just a different context in which works gets done and goals achieved. It dictates a different kind of strategy and tactics. This does not mean that any organization, non-profit or for-profit, should accept mediocrity, unnecessary bureaucracy, or ineffectiveness. It does mean that, as a donor, you need to know you are working with a different "industry" with a different set of norms and rules.