Balancing Mission and Margin in Uncertain Financial Times

HSC Workshops Series Header
with Marya Besharov
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
8:30 am – 10:30 pm
Fee $55, includes light refreshments

Borg Warner Conference Room, Tompkins County Public Library,
E. Green St. at S. Cayuga St., Ithaca (driving and access directions below)
Presented by the Human Services Coalition
Co-sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library

Nonprofits face increasing challenges to sustain their mission and remain financially viable. Government, foundation, and
individual support are increasingly hard to secure. Yet, service demands continue to mount. These twin conditions make it
all the more imperative that leaders continue the vital work of delivering on their missions while remaining fiscally sound.

This workshop will explore practical strategies and practices for balancing mission and margin.

You will:

  • Learn the value of being a pluralist leader who turns potential conflicts into productive tensions that fuel creative
  • Learn techniques you can use to manage tensions between staff and/or board members who prioritize mission and
    those who emphasize financial viability.
  • Discuss how you can enlist external stakeholders to serve as “guardrails” to help your organization with the
    mission/margin balance.
  • Explore how you can develop new, more sustainable approaches to mission achievement through social enterprise
    models, low-cost pilot programs, and partnerships.
  • How to use outcome measures to better manage the mission/margin balance.
    This workshop emphasizes “both/and” approaches to help nonprofit leaders balance mission and margin rather than
    “either/or” approaches that sacrifice one for the other.

About the Presenter:
Marya Besharov
is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the ILR School at Cornell University. An
organizational theorist with a background in organizational sociology, she studies how organizations and their leaders
navigate competing goals. Much of her research focuses on social-business hybrid organizations such as social enterprises
and mission-driven businesses that combine social and commercial goals. Marya’s work has been published in journals
such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Business
Ethics Quarterly, Academy of Management Learning and Education, and others.

In addition to her academic roles, Marya is actively involved in the nonprofit community in Ithaca, NY, where she currently
serves as Board Chair of the Women’s Opportunity Center. She received a BA in Social Studies, an MA in Sociology, and a
PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. She also holds an MBA from Stanford. Prior to her academic
career, Marya worked as a researcher and consultant in the health care field.

Registration and Payment
Register online at If you are unable to register and pay online please call 607.273.8686 or

Cancellation Policy
All registration sales are final – we are unable to refund or transfer fees onto a different workshop for missed
sessions. At times a workshop may be cancelled due to inclement weather or other issues. If this occurs, we will post the
cancellation on our website:, email all registered participants, and refund any prepaid fees. If you
plan to walk-in, please check our website for the most up-to-date information prior to attending.

Limited scholarships are available to agencies whose non-profit board and staff members cannot attend without one. To
request a scholarship, email: in advance of the workshop.

Coffee, other drinks, and snacks are provided at all workshops; lunch is not provided. Attendees at sessions in the Borg
Warner Room may leave and eat lunch on the beautiful Ithaca Commons.

Special Needs
Please notify us if you have any special needs; the Coalition wishes to make its workshops accessible to everyone.
For the comfort of everyone, HSC workshops are fragrance free. We appreciate your cooperation.

Parking and Directions

The Coalition is a United Way agency

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