Tag Archives: sea change strategies

Non-Profits are Membership Sites and Local Businesses

People in the non-profit sector have a tendency to freak out when you tell them they’re running a business. It’s like you’re swearing at them.

To become a not-for-profit business, first you have to incorporate. Then you apply for non-profit status. And if you want to be a charity, you have even more rules and guidelines to follow. Plus they all have to file income tax returns – just like any business.

So why do they get so freaked out when you tell Boards of Directors and Executive Directors that they have to behave like a business?

According to Convio, Edge Research and Sea Change Strategies, charitable giving is a $118.2 Billion dollar market for 2010 in the United States. That’s the marketplace in just one country. (Have a look at their paper on giving.)

Here’s my point: A Not-For-Profit Business is a business that must provide a high value experience while delivering an intangible product.

When I invest $100 to purchase a footprint on the Bruce Trail, or $55 to puchase one square foot in a Habitat for Humanity House, I’m investing in Conservation and Community. There’s no UPS package rate for either.

The paper from Convio has a lot of good information in it. It’s called “The Next Generation of American Giving” and it looks at Continue reading