Can the Balanced Scorecard be used by nonprofit or government organizations? Does the framework change when it's used by non private sector organizations?

asked Mar 27 '10 at 18:04

Sawyer's gravatar image


The Balanced Scorecard is used successfully by a wide range of governmental agencies, interestingly with a large percentage of them in the defense space. The US Army, Australia Department of Defense, FBI, and SEC are all users. There are also a large number of school districts (like Atlanta Public Schools) using the BSC. In the nonprofit space, there's less adoption, but it's starting to take hold in larger nonprofits and those who are interested in more transparent reporting.

answered Mar 27 '10 at 20:58

Dylan's gravatar image

Dylan ♦♦

We just held a conference on March 2-4 in Washington, DC called the Mission-Driven Performance Summit. Other nonprofit organizations that spoke include Catholic Charities of Boston, Rare (a social marketing organization in the environmental space), ACCION (a microfinance organization), and Project Management Institute (an association). So I think there are many examples of nonprofits that are using the Balanced Scorecard.

New Profit Inc, which funds nonprofits, asks all of their grantees to implement the BSC, so the concept is proving itself to be quite successful in this space.

answered Mar 30 '10 at 09:23

Ted%20Jackson's gravatar image

Ted Jackson

Yes it can be applied well in non-commercial sectors. It usually needs to be modified away from the simple 'four box' structure proposed back in 1992, but the changes required are well understood and well proven now.

Have a look at the FAQ answer "Can I apply Balanced Scorecard in my not-for-profit/public sector organisation?" which you can download from the 2GC web site - here:

You can also read several case studies on Balanced Scorecard implementation in non-profit, governmental and NGO type organisations in the case study section of the 2GC web site. For example here:

Case Study 6: Executive Balanced Scorecard in a United Nations Agency

There are several 'parallel' frameworks to the Balanced Scorecard that evolved in the non-commercial sector in the late 1990s (in part to address the inappropriate nature of the 1992 version of Balanced Scorecard for non-commercial organisations) - including the UN's "Results Based Management" framework. Several years ago now 2GC wrote a research paper comparing some of these parallel tools to the Balanced Scorecard. If you really want to dig deep on this topic, have a look at our paper:

Balanced Scorecard and Results-Based Management: Convergent Performance Management Systems

Hope this helps.

answered Mar 31 '10 at 09:29

Gavin%20Lawrie's gravatar image

Gavin Lawrie

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