Nonprofit organizations impact our lives and our communities. In fact, statistics show that more than 80% of the population will access services provided by a nonprofit organization in their lifetime. If you doubt that number, think about all of the different nonprofits that provide community outreach in specialized areas –like organizations that provide car seats, or anti-bullying organizations like Stand for the Silent, that you may interact with. But how do these vital organizations stay funded?
Most people assume that nonprofits are funded easily by government money and big corporate donors. The Non-Profit Finance Fund released a study in March of 2013 that shows this model is changing drastically. According to their report:
“Nonprofits are changing the way they do business because they have to: government funding is not returning to pre-recession levels, philanthropic dollars are limited, and demand for critical services has climbed dramatically,”
said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). “At the same time, 56 percent of nonprofits plan to increase the number of people served. That goal requires change and innovation– for nonprofits, for those who fund them, and for the broader systems we need to preserve and expand economic opportunity and social progress.”
In order to meet their goals in a complex financial environment, successful organizations are focused on efforts that create sustainable programs. In an environmental context, sustainability generally means finding a way to use resources in a manner that prevents their depletion. In the nonprofit sector the phrase “financial sustainability” is commonly used to suggest that the nonprofit will be able to sustain itself over the long-term, perpetuating its ability to fulfill its mission. It needs programs that generate revenue, that help fund the greater mission.
Nonprofits must work for the greater good, but also RUN LIKE A BUSINESS if they want to maintain their services. Not-for-profit, or nonprofit, is not synonymous with unprofitable. In fact, the term is not only a misnomer but has impeded many nonprofits from succeeding in their missions and being good stewards of the resources entrusted to them by donors. The key difference is that instead of generating profit, a profitable charitable organization is SUSTAINABLE. This includes incorporating key small business practices, like those created by Jack Stack in The Great Game of Business.
We know the importance of sustainable programs like our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program, along with innovative community partnerships with both the Business and Non-Profit sectors. And while our program participants are impacted and empowered by the program, we too are empowered by contributions from the participants, creating a cycle of sustainable funding and impact. It is a win for any organization. We offer tools that help make a positive impact on youth’s lives in their community and abroad.
Click on a key below to unlock some of the Source Funding programs that we discovered while developing Writing for the Soul Workshop™ !