6 Basic Business Tips For Starting A Profitable NonProfit

It’s time for nonprofits to become profitable!

This isn’t a topic I have ever discussed on my blog before.  Yet, it’s definitely one I’m passionate about.

All too often, non profit organizations struggle to survive.  Not because they don’t have an excellent mission. but because they have bought into the myth that nonprofits are meant to struggle and be broke.

That can’t be further from the truth.

The truth is– NonProfits can (and should) be PROFITABLE!

For the next few weeks, I’m sharing a series of articles specifically designed to help nonprofit leaders to grow thriving, successful nonprofits.

To kick the series off, here are 6 Basic Business Tips For Start-Up NonProfits. (Profitable NonProfits start from the very beginning. )

Do Your Research.
Is there a need for your organization?  Before you begin the extensive process of developing a new nonprofit, check out your competition.  Are there other organizations offering the same types of services you’d like to offer?  What makes your services better?

Develop A Business Plan.
Contrary to popular belief, a nonprofit organization is—and should be operated as—a business enterprise.  This means before you engage in the business of serving others through a nonprofit organization, you must have a plan.  What is your organization’s mission?  Who will you serve? How will you serve?  How much money do you need to operate?  How will you bring income into the organization?

Put The Right People On Your Board.
Your friends and family might not be the right people for your nonprofit Board.  The Board of Directors you choose will ultimately determine the level of success of your organization. Are the people you’re selecting interested in your cause?  Do they have professional experience in an area that is essential to your organization’s growth (e.g. finance, law, marketing)?  Are they committed to the success of your organization?

Don’t Take Shortcuts.
Sloppy recordkeeping and failure to adhere to legal regulations are the downfall of many nonprofit organizations.  Nonprofits are heavily regulated by both state and federal government agencies. Be certain to take care of all the legal regulations related to starting and maintaining your nonprofit organization.    Just because you are operating for a charitable purpose does not mean that you don’t have to follow all of the rules.  In fact, your nonprofit organization is held to a higher standard in order to protect your donors and ensure that the organization can continue to serve the public good.

Develop Multiple Streams Of Income.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  In order to have a successful and sustainable nonprofit organization, you’ll need to develop multiple ways of raising funds.  A good resource development plan (aka fundraising plan) will help you to explore all possible avenues of raising capital.  What are the top 3-4 ways you can generate income for your non profit organization? 

Establish Strong Partnerships.
The best, and most effective, way to advance your organization is to team up with other organizations who are serving the same audience that you serve but with a different area of focus.  For example, if you operate a tutoring service that helps high school student excel in mathematics, partnering with an organization that enhances students’ reading skills would be a great partnership.  Cooperative collaborations bring in more service opportunities and make your organization more attractive to funders.

Profitable NonProfits FlyerResource:  The Profitable NonProfit gives nonprofit leaders the tools and techniques for developing prosperous and sustainable organizations that are capable of making a bigger impact in the communities they serve. The workshop series is facilitated in an interactive, content-rich format that makes it easier for organizations to grow and thrive. It includes comprehensive workbooks; samples of key tools such as Articles of Incorporation, bylaws and grant proposal templates; and forms and checklists that guide the most critical nonprofit operations. For more information, go to http://www.beneciaponder.com/nonprofittraining/


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