The books that we will read for this course are: 1. In addition, you should try to be self-conscious about the people with whom you interact, the places that you work, the stores in which you shop, and the media that you view. This will provide you with irreplaceable opportunities to sharpen your understanding of the core social entrepreneurship concepts by applying them to the material that you know best—your day-to-day social world.
Each class will begin with a discussion of real-world examples of social issues and nonprofit organizations that will provide material for class analysis. I will ask for volunteers to provide examples of a current situation that you have read about in the course reading, that has appeared recently in the news, or that you have experienced directly. You should be prepared to summarize the real-world social issues that you volunteer. At the beginning of the semester, I will help those who volunteer an issue to identify relevant nonprofit and social entrepreneurship concepts and analyze the issue.
As the semester proceeds and you develop the skills necessary to perform the analytic tasks, the analytic burden will shift from me to the student who introduces the example. The goal of such in-class discussions will be to provide models for the more sophisticated analyses that you show in your memos and enterprise plan.
In addition, each of you will be responsible for presenting the key analytic concepts from two of the readings to the class. You will be responsible for 1 presenting a brief review of the reading and its implications for our work and 2 serving as the lead in our in-class discussion of the reading. You will summarize the main arguments of the article or articles, show how the themes relate to the topic of the day, and critique the arguments in light of the other readings for the course.
Dates for these presentations will be chosen during the early weeks of class. In addition, you will take no more than a page or two to clearly and concisely address these issues in a memo. You will sharpen your analytic skills by writing about the readings and real-world social enterprises. The ability to make a coherent, persuasive argument in a clear and concise written form is a necessary skill, so I will consider the way you present your argument as well as content.
I expect logical organization and clear, concise use of the English language. Edit your work. Very few of us can write effective prose on the first attempt, so you must write, then edit, then rewrite, then edit again, then rewrite again. You are responsible for writing four memos and an enterprise analysis for this course. Memos 1. Two memos on course readings about which you have presented, as described above in the participation section. The memos should be brief and to-the-point — a page or two in a typical single-space memo format. In order to do that, you have to show that it does matter.
These memos will be due on the day that you present the reading. Two memos that analyze a particular example of a social enterprise. You must select an example of a social enterprise—either one that is mentioned in our readings or that you have identified on your own—and provide a brief analysis of its approach to social entrepreneurship. Your goal is to describe the social enterprise and tough briefly on why it 1 is an innovative approach to solving a social issue, 2 is consistent with the broader mission of the organization, 3 benefits the civic life of the community, 4 benefits the clients of the program, and 5 is managed in a way that is operationally feasible for the organization.
Please provide a succinct description and analysis — three or so pages in a single-space memo format. These memos are due any time between March 15 and April Enterprise analysis This is the final paper of the course. By the time you write this analysis, you will have examined a number of social enterprises and spent some time learning about the tools that nonprofits use to create social enterprises. An enterprise analysis is much like the social analysis memos above; only this time you will provide an analysis of the plan for a social enterprise.
Because you will have acquired a set of tools for social entrepreneurship planning by this time in the course, this analysis will be less descriptive and more analytic than your memos. Please provide a concise description and analysis — four of five pages in a single-space memo format. Organizations for these paper will be chosen in mid-March, and the analyses will be due at the end of the semester. Assessment The learning goals of this course and the liberal learning program emphasize the analysis of individual and organizational behavior.
The key analytic tasks include 1 examining a particular social issue to identify appropriate solutions that can be developed by nonprofit organizations and 2 developing a feasible plan for a program to deliver a solution. These assessment tools will give them the opportunity to illustrates their progress against rubrics that demonstrate analytic proficiency.
Ongoing work with other students in the class, the professor, and periodic contact with staff and members of community organizations will provide additional formative assessment within the course. Participation Participation is a vital part of this course. Here are the criteria that I will use to evaluate your participation in the course: 1.
Understanding of core concepts in social entrepreneurship. Skill in applying core concepts to the analysis of relevant examples of social enterprises. Quality of the analysis of examples of social enterprises. Ability to initiate and sustain class discussion. Capacity to help classmates develop during class discussion.
Ability to identify powerful, relevant concepts. Skill in applying those concepts to the analysis of the real-world organizational issue. Coherence and persuasiveness of your analysis; organization, structure, language, and grammar of your argument. Please read them carefully. Opportunities pursued even if they do not further mission.
The mission can be changed during such a revisit. With a renewed sense of purpose, the entrepreneurial organization can free its people to explore opportunities that further the mission. The measure of changing those lives provides the guidance for leaders and organizations surrounded by opportunities. At the same time, it shows when new opportunities are right, and when they will enable the organization to pursue a market or funding opportunity that furthers the mission and produces real results in the lives of customers.
Customers find old services unnecessary and new ones more important. The technology that supports your work becomes more important, or its use by others becomes more frequent. The mission of a social sector organization is a critical part of its intentions and work. Therefore, to keep the mission as the lever that enables leaders and organizations to change lives, the mission must be revisited with regularity.
The critical ingredients of this exploration are those presented in the first steps of the planning process: environment, customers, and organization. This is when the mission truly makes a difference within the organization and, more important, with the customers. In everyday work, the mission should be a central idea. Decisions and actions of the leader and the organization must be explained and understood as furthering the mission. The organization must have systems for getting work done and for making clear the connection between mission and everyday decisions and tasks. One such approach is the planning process presented earlier.
Live Your Mission Good intentions may have brought you into this world of social sector organizations. Your belief and commitment to a mission can keep you and the people and resources you need to coordinate going. Use them, modify them, expand them, and contract them. Give it a position of importance on your brochure. Make it prominent on your Website. Ask them about their mission. Talk about the mission in your meetings with staff, funders, Board members, everyone.
Use the mission—Place the mission on your reports to the Board. Organize your planning documents to begin with mission. Use the mission in conversations with staff members. Make decisions with the mission as an important criterion. Compare the mission to the opportunities presented to your organization every day. Revisit the mission regularly. Celebrate the mission—The mission inspires those doing the critical work in your organization. Celebrate their accomplishments and the mission they are furthering. Acknowledge what the mission means to you.
The 10 steps are as follows: tool of the trade 1. Establish a mission-writing group. Adopt criteria for an effective mission statement; gather ideas and suggestions for first drafts. Develop one or more draft statements. Judge initial drafts against criteria and suggest revisions or new options. Develop second drafts. Gain feedback from outside the writing group.
Summarize feedback and distribute second drafts and a summary to the writing group. Propose a draft mission statement or determine the next steps.
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Gain preliminary endorsement of the proposed mission statement. Present the proposed mission statement for Board approval. This process can be followed as presented, or it can be adapted to better suit your project, organization, or opportunities. You may find that this process is too complex for your circumstances. If the full series of meetings and drafts is not required, feel free to shorten the process to the basics of establishing criteria, drafting possibilities, gathering feedback, and approving a statement. These steps help in the formation of any mission or purpose statement.
Following is a detailed presentation of the 10 steps. Step 1: Establish a mission-writing group The task of the mission-writing group is to agree on a draft mission statement to be presented to the governing body for approval. Having a facilitator is helpful and can be particularly beneficial if the facilitator is familiar with the organization, its customers, and work.
Step 2: Adopt criteria for an effective mission statement; gather ideas and suggestions for first drafts. Before a first meeting, group members should review the following criteria for an effective mission statement. At this point, the group should develop the widest possible set of options without being overly critical of any ideas.
The facilitator draws a circle around the words or phrases that appear most often. Step 3: Develop one or more draft statements. After the meeting, the writer—either alone or with a small subgroup— develops drafts of at least two possible mission statements that are distributed to all members before the next meeting.
Step 4: Judge initial drafts against criteria and suggest revisions or new options. The second meeting of the mission-writing group should begin with a discussion of the protocol steps A—I as follows that will be used to judge the drafts and make suggestions. To judge drafts and make suggestions, use the following protocol: A. The group reviews the agreed-upon criteria for an effective mission statement.
The first-draft statement is posted on a flip chart or writing board at the front of the room. Group members individually rate the draft i. The group first discusses the merits of the draft and then makes specific suggestions for how it might be improved. Note: The group is not engaging in collective editing or rewriting. All suggestions—even if they contradict one another—are encouraged and recorded.
The second draft statement is posted, and steps C—E are repeated. The group compares and contrasts its reactions to the two drafts. The facilitator instructs each group member to be ready to write, then gives everyone two minutes to write his or her recommended mission statement at this point.
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At the end of the writing time, each member reads the statement aloud; the statements are collected and given to the writer. Step 5: Develop second drafts. After the meeting, the writer or subgroup develops a second draft of one or more new mission statements. Step 6: Gain feedback from outside the writing group. This step puts the emerging statement or draft s to the test by other members of the organization, customers, and funders. The Board chairman and chief executive decide who outside the writing group will be asked to give feedback.
In some settings, organizationwide input is invited. In others, a smaller group of Board members and staff is selected.
Gaining feedback from a few key individuals or groups outside the organization may also be valuable. The chief executive oversees the process of gaining feedback.
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If the Board chairman is not a member of the writing group, his or her feedback at this point is essential. Each individual or group being contacted for review is shown the criteria for an effective mission statement and asked for the following information: A. A rating i. Comments on the merits of the draft s C. All members of the group receive summaries of the feedback of reviewers and the second draft s of the mission.
Step 8: Propose a draft mission statement or determine the next steps. With some groups, the process of developing a mission statement flows with ease to a unanimous and enthusiastic conclusion. With most, however, the process proves to be demanding but worthwhile when a strong statement emerges. A few groups come to believe they have been given the riddle of the Sphinx. Mission-writing groups may choose to propose more than one statement for the Board chairman or full Board to consider, may ask for a Board discussion to gain input and direction, or may simply go into another round of drafts and keep at it until the issue is resolved.
If a group truly gets stuck, it may be helpful to let the task lie for awhile and come back to it or take the challenge to a specialist outside the organization and gain a completely fresh perspective. What counts is your performance. At the third meeting, the writing group completes the following tasks: A. Reviews the emerging statement or second draft s. Hears and discusses a summary of feedback from outside the writing group. Again rates the draft s against criteria and cites merits and weaknesses. Determines if they have a strong enough draft to propose for approval.
If so, the group makes final suggestions for fine-tuning and approves its proposed mission statement. If not, the group sums up the status of the process and recommends the next steps. Step 9: Gain preliminary endorsement of the proposed mission statement.
If the chairman was not a member of the writing group, this endorsement must be obtained. Peter M. Schubert, and author, Information list and data sources adapted from Gary J. The customer research outline and two schools of thought taken from Gary J. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, p. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, , p. Gary J. The value of a strategic plan Assessing opportunities Window of opportunity One of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship is opportunity recognition. In its purest form, opportunity recognition for social entrepreneurs is about new or different ways to create or sustain social value.
Clarity of direction is fundamental for weighing opportunities that have the potential to contribute to organizational success. Ideas are always plentiful. Good opportunities are subject to timing issues. A window of opportunity is subject to changing environments and or human conditions just as it is in the for-profit sector. There is also the reality of running a social enterprise in this day and age, which requires an application of sound business skills and principles to sustain new and innovative programming.
Social entrepreneurs relentlessly pursue opportunities by applying both science and art to create or sustain social value. Many people mistakenly believe that only the optimist can be a successful social entrepreneur, but that is not true! Are character traits important? In fact, the opposite may be true. Starting a new venture, or even an earned income strategy, is difficult enough without being honest about your product or service, your market, your competition, your resources, and numerous other factors that help determine success or failure.
The mantra here is very simple: Beware of yourself. Optimism is very helpful. Taking advantage of opportunities that contribute to organizational success is a skillful process that requires careful analysis, entrepreneurial instinct, and follow-through. How many times have you thought of something that would make you rich? How many times have you thought of something that would change the world?
It all depends on what you see, when you see it, and how it relates to other conditions. Several factors must be present to make an idea a true opportugem of nity. In understanding the difference between an opportunity and just another idea, you must understand that entrepreneurship is a market-driven process. An opportunity is attractive, durable and timely, and is anchored in a product or service that creates or adds value for its buyer or end-user. An idea for innovation in the way a service is delivered or a different location of a service might seem plausible at first glance.
But it usually takes several trial-anderror applications of the basic assumptions that the new idea is based on in order to determine if the innovation is viable. The opportunity mindset for social entrepreneurs usually opts for refining an idea unless overwhelming negative factors suggest dumping the idea. Brilliant ideas are just raw material that you have to work on to build your opportunity.
Many ideas fall by the wayside, but some, on the other hand—combined with timing, demand, and other factors—have the potential to be life-changing opportunities. The common place to start looking is the work site—innovations in existing services and products. Have you looked at the service from the eyes of the user? Are decisions about a service or product made by management or by the people closest to the service?
Is a mechanism in place for regularly obtaining feedback from staff or volunteers? Are the basic assumptions, which were originally used to design the product or service, still practical in light of changing conditions? Does the current literature still support your assumptions about your customer or service?
What do providers offer in other communities locally and nationally? Could a partnership with another provider improve your service and increase your chances of achieving desired results? Do you seek feedback from your customers? Are you asking the right questions? These techniques are not easy. We get so deep into the routine task that we actually develop blinders to innovation. After all, we are creatures of habit. It often takes an outside challenge or threat for us to think innovation.
Have you or your staff recognized any unique patterns of use? Cyclical times of greater need? Age-dependent variables that prohibit participation? A simple Behaviorist rule of thumb is that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. Do your customers exhibit a pattern of behavior that you have not previously identified but that is now observable?
Have the demographics of your community changed? Is the community aging? Are young families of different races or ethnicities immigrating into your area? Are the typical indicators of economic conditions within the neighborhood changing—employers closing up business or moving out or into the community? A community development corporation would want to track various housing trends in order to apply the most relevant strategies for changing conditions. Certain strategies are applicable when housing stock is declining and property values are falling—middle class flight—as compared to different strategies needed when property values are rising in poor neighborhoods through gentrification—poor people displacement.
We all probably believe that to some degree, but are you satisfied with waiting for opportunity to knock on your door? Being in the right place at the right time has more to do with the connections people make than their geographic position under the stars! The larger your network of colleagues, the greater your chances of hearing about new ideas or stumbling across an opportunity that presents itself during brainstorming sessions.
Relationships do matter! Coalitions, councils, networks, and so forth are the research and development area of the not-for-profit sector. This is especially true for communities that have learned the value of collaboration versus highly competitive, turf-conscious strategies where scarcity of resources is the norm. Join membership organizations that have direct or indirect connections. Attend the trade shows of your industry, and develop relationships with your competitors.
The more connections you make and the more people who know and understand your mission, the greater your chances of finding new opportunities. This assumption often occurs in the idea-testing stage. And, as you can imagine, there are often unplanned reactions to a strategy. It may have no relation to the original idea whatsoever, but it may actually represent potential. The best chance to identify opportunities with time for you to take advantage of the opportunity is in this area—unplanned benefits or consequences to some action.
This area is so exciting because entrepreneurs see these opportunities first. The social entrepreneur has developed a mindset that is constantly looking for opportunity in the middle of chaos or the innovation with real potential rising out of a catastrophe. However, amazon.
The Internet also had numerous unintended consequences—viruses, for example, and jammers who saw an opportunity to cause havoc for millions of customers. When the Internet was designed, no one anticipated this phenomenon, but once it occurred, the market was wide open for antivirus software development companies. Another consequence of the Internet was the proliferation of pornography. It is now suggested that pornography-related Websites are popping up at the rate of approximately 1, per month—serious unintended social consequences!
However, several social entrepreneurs have formed social enterprises or reinvented themselves to address these concerns. CyberAngels is an organization with an army of volunteers patrolling Websites and chat rooms, looking for predators and other abuses of the Internet, such as illegal child pornography. This group has also developed curriculum for schools, provides consulting services, and is now developing a Cyber number to help quickly identify predators and other Internet violators. The social entrepreneurs who reinvented themselves in light of this opportunity are the Guardian Angels.
The same group that had a mission of making the streets safer is now making cyberspace safer. According to Curtis Sliwa, the founder of Guardian Angels and founder of CyberAngels, the group simply responded to a terrible social challenge that fell within their view of their mission. Referrals from CyberAngels, working in cooperation with the U. Innovation in existing services or products represents the most common and practical place to look, but it does require looking and listening. Looking for new trends or new patterns of behavior that emerge from changes in public policy, economic conditions, or technology is another fruitful place to pick up on new opportunities for social benefit.
Lastly, get out there and network— relationships matter! Without it, focus and a clear sense of purpose for those connected to the organization will slowly wither, along with any chances for success. Therefore, a strategic plan can be the unifying document—the compass or roadmap for the organization. A compelling vision, well-articulated mission, and clearly stated desired results and strategies to achieve them are fundamental components of a good strategic plan. The following three issues are related to the value of a strategic plan as a general resource for screening opportunities: 1. It can refocus you on where to spend your time and energy if you were adrift.
Not all businesses should do strategic planning because it is usually a function of established, growing concerns. Startups are engaged in startup-related functions and operations issues. The initial work that involved the creation of a vision statement and mission statement for the incorporation usually carries the day during the startup phase.
On the other hand, growing concerns have mastered the day-to-day operations and need to consistently look outward—examining their environment—and inward—examining their ability to deliver a quality service or product. Unfortunately, many organizations balk at the notion of a five- or ten-year plan because they are afraid of being tied down in a changing world. Or others use strategic planning to stay inside the box—a process to stay the course despite changing conditions.
We live in a rapidly changing world. But with the exception of environmental disasters, war, or market plunges all three represent fertile fields for social entrepreneurs , most changes that occur in the lives of everyday citizens are discussed in public debate for an extended time. Significant public policy changes at the federal, state, or local level get scrutinized in the media in time for you and your Board to incorporate them into your planning processes.
It is important to note that all kinds of recommendations come from all kinds of sources about how to plan and how often you engage in a planning process. Consider the advice of Peter C. John has seen a tremendous shift over the last five years within the not-for-profit sector in relation to strategic planning. John cites the following four changes that have brought about this shift. The influence of business practices. Executives and their Boards are thinking and behaving more entrepreneurially.
In the past, suggesting the terms entrepreneur and not-for-profit in the same sentence was creating an oxymoron. Today, more social entrepreneurs realize that sound business practices are essential in a competitive environment to sustain the social value created by the business.
Therefore, the bar has been raised. Changes in funder expectations.
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Traditional funding sources like government and philanthropy have placed greater emphasis on strategic plans. Quite simply, the funding community for the not-for-profit sector has increased the pressure for clear statements of vision and mission, the evidence of a plan to get there, and ways to show results. Competitive advantage.
Many not-for-profits believe that the existence of a strategic plan creates a competitive advantage. The presence of a plan creates an opportunity for the organization to market itself, not just the services or products provided, but also the businesslike nature of the organization. Organization decline. Finally, many not-for-profits try to engage in strategic planning exercises out of a sense of futility because their organization is in a state of decline or flux and they believe they need a plan to right themselves. It provides the first general screen for considering opportunities or new direction for the organization.
It is fundamental to good business practice and may also provide advantages to fund development in a highly competitive market.
It is both a science and an art. Too much dependence on one or the other can lead to failure. Going on gut instinct without collecting enough information about market potential, achievable results, or sustainability can be hazardous to organizational health. That may vary depending on the scale and scope of the opportunity you are assessing see Exhibit 3.
Is there demand? Does this opportunity address a social need, and is there some evidence of desire on the part of the target population to use the service? For example, a youth-serving organization is considering adding a stop-smoking program to its afterschool services. Cigarette smoking by youth is on the increase and is well documented; however, according to numerous prevention studies, youth are not inclined to participate in smoking-cessation programs.
The smoking-cessation program does address a serious social need, but it may not represent a good opportunity because the target population has little desire to use the service; therefore, it gets a low score on the scale. An adolescent pregnancy organization is also concerned about the increase in cigarette smoking, especially among pregnant teens. Would the smoking-cessation program be a fit? It would rate a low score if the mission and primary purpose were to prevent pregnancy, but the program may rate a high score if the mission and purpose included positive pregnancy outcomes.
Once determined to be an idea worth pursuing, a more formal assessment model should be used. Keep in mind that new ventures are filled with unknowns, and any idea in its current state may appear to have less potential than it might otherwise have after testing, refinement, and alteration, or adequate information may not be available when first considering the potential. Bygrave, in his book The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship,6 provides a wonderful tool for evaluating opportunities for new businesses.
He analyzes certain criteria within a context of varying degrees of potential for success.
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The same kind of model can be used in the nonprofit sector, although the criteria are much more specific to the social value and sustainability issues and conditions inherent in this work. There is no such comparable market test or comparable return ratios for benevolence or social benefit in the not-for-profit sector. Preventing the spread of AIDS, preventing water pollution, providing care to the indigent and elderly, or providing quality Head Start experiences for children living in poverty all may have significant social value; however, one enterprise may have extremely high social value to one investor and yet may be considered a total waste of money by another.
Successful social entrepreneurs are good at assessing the value of an opportunity in their area of expertise. They know their customers, both in terms of those who consume the service or product—those who benefit—and those who purchase or invest in the service or product to create a benefit for those in need. As you consider this tool, also place the perceived social value along a continuum from extremely high social value to low or minimal social value.
Does the presenting opportunity fit with the current mission statement? Using the previous CyberAngels example, the mission of the Alliance of Guardian Angels focused on keeping streets safe for children, youth, and families. Did it represent an opportunity to create or sustain social value? Was the information highway really a fit with keeping streets safe? Determine where your idea fits along the continuum of strategic alignment. Does the service or product have the potential to produce the desired change in behavior, condition, or level of satisfaction of the user?
If the intended outcome of the smoking-cessation program mentioned previously is to have stopped smoking and the service is geared strictly to an education strategy for youth, then, according to prevention studies, it is less likely to achieve desired results. Would a partner s or strategic alliance have a synergistic effect on the service or product and improve or increase chances for achieving desired results?
For example, the smoking-cessation education program forms a partnership with a pharmaceutical company for product donation— nicotine patches. The education strategy alone would have low to marginal results, according to recent findings; however, the partnership with the pharmaceutical company and inclusion of product donation with education increases the chances for achieving desired results.
This category can also be considered when assessing the sustainability potential. As mentioned earlier, the increased perception of value for the organization increases the sustainability potential! Market Potential Despite the positive indicators of a healthy and growing economy that defined the human condition at the close of the 20th century in the United States, social need still far exceeded supply.
The independent sector grew from approximately , not-for-profits in to more than , by the end of the century. Since , the sector has grown four times as fast as the national economy. Yet, need still far exceeds supply, and competition for resources and customers is fierce. This section of the instrument is designed to help you assess the position of the opportunity in terms of meeting market demand for both customers the user of services and funders the purchaser of services.
In the CyberAngels example, the projected numbers of youth logging onto the Internet was enormous. When combined with the huge increase in the number of new porn sites starting each month and increasing numbers of reports of adult predators in chat rooms, real need with an opening window was the resulting assessment. There may be a real social need but little desire to access services by the user. Homelessness is a serious social issue. Yet, there is less desire for shelter assistance by young homeless males.
Is there evidence of interest within philanthropic circles e. Reproductive services for low-income women are a well-documented need with user desire for services. Yet many potential funders shy away from participating in such an emotionally charged social issue. The government refused to intervene, and foundations were unaware of the social need in the case of CyberAngels. It took great personal sacrifice by the executive Parry Afrat and her volunteers to launch the project. Assuming such things as evidence of need, desire, and funder interest, is there evidence of potential market share?
Is the market crowded with competitors? Is there enough room for entry at a level that can justify capital expense? For example, is there room for another provider of leadership development services for youth in a community that has well-established scouting, campfire, 4H, and YMCA services? Or your innovation could lure away customers if your marketing plan and services demand. Determine what your niche is and its potential compared to others already in the field.
Sustainability Potential Unless capitalized by a substantial endowment, most not-for-profits face the issue of sustainability on a day-to-day basis. The soft money that typifies the sector is subject to constantly changing conditions such as shifts in political winds, fluctuations in quarterly earnings for corporate donors, or economic downturns that tighten up discretionary funds that customers might be spending in full or in part for your service or product.
An opportunity might have high social value potential but very low sustainability potential at point of assessment; however, it could gain feasibility over time as conditions change or resources become accessible from different investors or your own budget shifts. Not-for-profits rarely have a research and development budget! Do you have staff time you can carve away from existing work to develop the idea?
Are the capital needs for startup cost prohibitive? Can existing staff, technology, facilities, equipment, and so forth be used for startup? Can contract staff be used or are full-time FTEs needed? Will potential funders raise concern about proposed costs? Cost-to-benefit ratio.
What is the ratio between the cost to deliver the service to one client and the value of the desired outcome? Both have excellent outcomes in terms of value to the participant and community perception of the public benefit. Yet, the target population for Youth Build USA is very high-risk youth, typically school dropouts who have had brushes with the juvenile justice system. Predictable outcomes for this population are a life of unemployment and periodic incarceration. Not to mention the loss of productivity and taxable income. Does your organization have the existing human resources to pursue this opportunity?
Does the new opportunity create a significant lag time before human resources are ready to provide the services or product? Could a partnership s with other organizations with existing capability reduce your costs while providing desired results? Organizational capacity. Does your organization have the capacity to launch the new program or service? Does it require additional technology, space, a financial accounting system patient billing, for example , transportation needs, and the like?
Will funds be easily accessible if these needs are significant? Would a partnership s resolve capacity needs? Is there sufficient need and desire combined with some degree of discretionary income that could generate some fees based on a sliding fee structure? The not-for-profit sector is usually the delivery system of last resort; however more foundations and corporate giving programs are pressuring for service- or program-related income, even minimal amounts, before a grant will be considered. Keeping in mind that the greater the existence of income potential, the greater the involvement of for-profit enterprises competing for the same client.
The client may have zero income and no means whatsoever to pay a service fee. In that case, the potential for this factor would be low. Keep in mind that the assessment rating for this factor does not mean that the opportunity should be disregarded! Is there evidence of funder interest—existing grants or contracts for similar services? Yet, it is always asked. In the absence of program or service endowments, or government contracts, there are few options for addressing long-term sustainability potential. A hands-on resource that shows nonprofits how to adopt entrepreneurial behaviors and techniques The rising spirit of social entrepreneurship has created all kinds of new opportunities for nonprofit organizations.
But at the same time, many are discovering more than their share of challenges as well. This essential book will help anyone in the field gain the necessary skills to meet these challenges.