Photo: The “Fruitful Four” organizations with staff, Fellows, and consultants of The Patterson Foundation

Extending Capacity to Do Good: Earned Income Ventures

Posted on January 24, 2024 by Kellie Alexander, TPF Fellow 2022/24

A message from Mike Oxman and Larry Clark: For ten years, The Patterson Foundation's Margin & Mission Ignition (MMI) thrivability initiative has helped nonprofits become stronger through earned income and social enterprise. In partnership with No Margin, No Mission, a national consulting practice, organizations have developed and implemented business plans, plus raised startup capital, to fund entrepreneurial ventures designed to boost revenue and mission impact. As the MMI Family of nonprofit partners has grown, TPF has hosted a series of Thrive & Dine sessions, the next of which takes place on January 29th, 2024, to bring participants together to connect, collaborate, learn, and share about a variety of compelling topics, all while enjoying a meal with one another.


Joining The Patterson Foundation (TPF) with a background in fundraising and development, I recognize the unique partnership with No Margin, No Mission and TPF to propel the Margin & Mission Ignition initiative (MMI), which amplifies earned income interest and resources for Suncoast Region nonprofits. Earned income ventures provide organizations with funding diversification to increase revenue stream with mission congruence, therefore growing capacity to do good work! MMI is a catalyst for organizations to focus on earned income growth through intentional business planning and fundraising consulting, as well as TPF’s matching opportunity for start-up costs. TPF supports this initiative not through grants but by providing organizations access to expertise and resources from No Margin, No Mission with Larry Clark and Mike Oxman and Fueling Dynamic Fundraising with Sara Leonard.

Early in December 2023, the “Fruitful Four” organizations, including Art Center Sarasota, Beyond the Spectrum, NAMI-Sarasota/Manatee, and Sarasota Opera, took part in a Knowledge Sharing Session (KSS), a collaborative convening of the current cohort while active in the programming. This MMI Virtual Business Plan Implementation KSS included time for each organization to present what’s working, what they’ve learned, and future growth opportunities. Following presentations, organizations shared key takeaways about the greatest value and early wins from business planning, challenges faced, ripple effects, and “Aha” moments.

In just about 14 weeks, these four organizations impressed with their business planning, weekly consulting meetings, and even Fast Pitch success! However, their work is not done yet as each organization embraces the shift to monthly consulting, aims to raise the remainder of their fundraising goals, and monitors their ventures. Fortunately, they aren’t alone, as the “Fruitful Four” have connected and collaborated within their cohort and will have the opportunity to meet previous cohorts through a Thrive and Dine event in 2024.

Grateful for the opportunity to take part in the planning phase and enthusiastic to watch each venture continue to grow through the monitoring phase.

 You did it

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