Nonprofits invited to unleash entrepreneurial potential

Nonprofits invited to unleash entrepreneurial potential

Posted on January 21, 2015 by Mike Oxman, Managing Partner and Principal, No Margin, No Mission™

Editor's Note: Michael Oxman and Larry Clark are the co-founders, managing partners and principals of No Margin, No Mission.™  The Patterson Foundation is partnering with this national consulting firm and social enterprise on the foundation's new Margin & Mission Ignition Initiative.

Calling all nonprofit leaders, board members, and staffers ...

• Is your organization striving to balance the increased demand for services with the challenges of reduced available funding and capacity to do the work?

• Does your agency find itself overly reliant on grants and donations that could make your balance sheet vulnerable?

• Has your nonprofit created a culture that gives everything away for free (including offerings such as trainings, workshops, webinars, events, books, data/analysis, public speaking, thought leadership, consultation, and a wide array of other “products” and “services”)?

The answer may be, “yes,” for many -- and you're not alone. Across the country, nonprofits are faced with these challenges that have a direct impact on fulfilling their missions and planning for a long-term future of impact. For nonprofits in our local region, there's an exciting opportunity to participate in the launch of Margin & Mission Ignition, a new initiative of The Patterson Foundation designed to help local nonprofits build their entrepreneurial capacity, boost revenue, and heighten mission impact.

A New Year And A New Entrepreneurial Opportunity

Through its continued partnership with No Margin, No Mission,™ The Patterson Foundation will launch the first in a series of educational labs on Feb. 11 focused on topics that address earned-income revenue generation and business planning.

The inaugural half-day lab will explore “financial thrivability” through the basics of earned income. Appropriate for nonprofit leaders in our local region, participants will gain insight into the topic through understanding its most fundamental principles and its unique value, with a healthy dose of compelling examples, interactive exercises, and helpful action steps provided throughout the session.

For those who demonstrate strong interest, cultural alignment, internal readiness to take steps toward thrivability, and the wherewithal to move through an interview and application process, there will be subsequent opportunities for one-on-one coaching and technical assistance to develop and implement earned-income business plans as a way to generate income and diversify revenue. Organizations selected to continue on to this phase of the initiative should have a profile on The Giving Partner and commit to participation from the executive director, a board member and a key staff person throughout the process.

Based on Learning, Sharing, and Doing

The 2015 initiative builds on No Margin, No Mission’s™ entrepreneurial work over the past year funded by The Patterson Foundation. During that time, the firm coached several local nonprofits through a business-planning process that culminated in a “Shark-Tank” style FAST PITCH event where nonprofits pitched their ideas to local investors, funders, and business leaders. Included among these entrepreneurial organizations were Easter Seals of Southwest Florida, HOPE Family Services, Lemur Conservation Foundation, Renaissance on 9th, SCOPE, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and Women’s Resource Center of Manatee.

Leveraging the success of this work to date, Margin & Mission Ignition aims to embed entrepreneurial and “earned-income thinking” within several nonprofit organizations, especially with executive directors and board leadership, by:

• Introducing business-planning concepts during a series of educational “labs”

• Coaching nonprofits to create viable business plans

• Mentoring nonprofits as the organizations implement earned-income strategies from their business plans

• Ensuring that key learning is shared to spread the word and amplify impact

• Tracking and monitoring progress for 12 months following the start of business plan implementation

Get Ready for Margin & Mission Ignition

Don’t miss the chance to explore new revenue-generating opportunities for your organization by participating in the exciting launch of Margin & Mission Ignition. Space is limited, so register today by clicking here.

Want to learn more about earned income and related topics?

• Read all of our guest posts for The Patterson Foundation.

• Visit No Margin, No Mission’s™ Web Site and Resources page.

• Contact or

• Follow No Margin, No Mission™ on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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