Living and Giving

The Professionalization of Charities: What Nonprofits and For-Profits Can Learn From Each Other, Part One

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We\’re excited to announce our Founder  and CEO Pamela Hawley was just featured in Forbes publication! The article is entitled The Professionalization of Charities: What Nonprofits and For-Profits Can Learn From Each Other, and was published on January 11, 2018. Please see below!







As stated in an article by The Economist (subscription required), “Nonprofit organizations are learning lessons from businesses. And businesses are learning from charities”

I love that people are seeing that the for-profit sector and nonprofit sector can learn from each other. Nonprofits are reassembling more and more like businesses. They might have storefronts, generate revenue, maintain contracts and create strong brands.

“That shift is global,” according to Lester Salamon of Johns Hopkins Centre for Civil Society Studies.






Based on my experience in the nonprofit industry, here are five areas in which I believe nonprofits can learn from for-profits:

1. Efficiency: Nonprofits can be more efficient by watching how for-profits measure results. They, too, can think about their services in terms of having clearer, more tangible results.






2. A Strong Board Of Directors: Public for-profits create strong boards of directors. They know that having a board of directors can provide them with introductions and strong funding and can help to push the organization to another level. Nonprofits should follow this aim.

3. Generating Revenue: For-profits need to generate revenue to survive. I would say that the same should hold true for nonprofits. Try to have that standard.






4. Employee Benefits: For-profits often provide more employee benefits. Nonprofits should do the same. They can be different types of benefits, such as letting your employees leave at 5 p.m., and providing more balance as well as more vacation time. These are important benefits that don’t have to cost too much and encourage increased morale and team spirit.