Inc Magazine has financial tips for non-profit organizations that may seem unlike the cause-driven business' nature: The news source insists that making money, often in ways one would not directly relate to altruism, is essential for these types of companies and the communities they impact.
Making a profit for good
Non-profits are typically immersed in community betterment, which can lead business owners to believe such causes are without need of financial success or should avoid seeking profits because an influx of money could reflect negatively on the business. Organizations like Growing Together – an Illinois non-profit that works to activate farming efforts in urban areas, as reported by the Register-Mail – work to ultimately save cash and other resources for consumers, and tend to reflect a less financially keen existence.
Matt Wallen, the 23-year-old lead farmer of Growing Together, has reflected non-profit experts' ideals in non-profit work during his time with the local produce initiative, according to the Register-Mail. By his decisions to pursue interest in urban farming, the source reports, he eventually found himself in a moment of opportunity when his passion for food growth met Growing Together CEO Peter Schwartzman's fledgling business.
"We want to show people that we can grow food in Galesburg that stays in Galesburg," Schwartzman told the newspaper. "We want to show people that it's healthy, better for the environment and better for the community."
Growing Together's mission is at its core to improve the well-being of residents of Galesburg and start a progressively healthier trend by promoting the circulation of locally grown whole foods for restaurant and home use. This goal may not state an outright drive to improve the local economy, but the business inherently works as a means of commerce that holds great potential on a city-wide scale.
Most decision-makers at non-profit organizations know that money must be made for employee salaries in conjunction with fostering a wealth of social progress throughout the community. Inc suggests these companies may be able to make more than they know, especially as non-profit owners can facilitate profit-making strategies related directly to the company's mission as well as those that go beyond everyday altruistic business. The news source notes that although some unrelated business may be taxable, it is legal for non-profits to run operations like renting workspace, collecting royalties or profiting from investments.
Besides the obvious financial investment advice, non-profits are receiving crucial ideas on how to get people involved in non-profit work and what business owners need to do to ensure the longevity of their organization through events like Live United's 23rd Annual Professional Development Conference for Non-profits. Scheduled for March 12 in Bakesfield, California, the conference will feature Harwood Institute CEO Rich Harwood, who has made a business of his own teaching non-profit leaders how to impact their communities best.
Harwood's coined distinction "Turning Outward," will be highlighted at the event. His list of points for altruistic entrepreneurs revolve around the people a non-profit should focus its energy on and the ideas that will leverage a company within that group. These basic strategies for non-profit impact serves as one form of indirect financial investment advice to business owners within the community-serving sector, and it holds at the forefront of its meaning the sentiment that non-profit executives must make each day one filled with their own positive choices.