Government funding for not-for-profit organizations is not even keeping up with inflation, never mind with increasing demand for services. Operational funding is being replaced by project-based funding, and much-needed core programs are being sacrificed for innovative or ‘flavour of the month’ initiatives that may or may not be essential.
These are a few of the challenges facing the non-profit sector today. The solution? Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset. Diversify revenues.
Thrive Institute (formally 21 Century Non-Profit Program) works with organizations to diversify their revenues and increase their impact—we talk money and impact. Grants are not a sustainable model for secured revenues- there is never enough and operational, non-restricted funding is very difficult to come by. Plus grants are not in our control—they depend on other people, making decisions based on other interests and objectives. An emerging model of being “enterprising” includes diverse sources of revenue: not just grants, donations, and fundraising, but contracts and multi-year funding, program fees, social-purpose real estate, social enterprise, social ventures, and win-win corporate partnerships.
Join Scale Collaborative and Victoria Foundation on November 22nd for a workshop that outlines the current problem, how diversified revenues can address this problem, and how to participate in the Thrive Institute 2018. Lee Herrin, Executive Director of Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group Society, will share how Fernwood has diversified its own revenue and become more profitable, stable, and effective as a result. By investing in real estate, and operating a daycare, a coffee shop, and a hair salon, the Society reduced its dependence on grants from 67% to less than 30% in 10 years.
Applications for Thrive Institute will close by mid-December. Eight non-profits will be invited to participate in a workshop series and receive individualized coaching over six months to develop a plan for diversified revenues and increased impact. The program fee is $750/organization and includes all materials for 3 participants/organization: Board member, Executive Director and senior staff member.