Editor's Note: By engaging No Margin, No Mission, TPF strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by igniting interest in earned-income possibilities and ensuring nonprofits have access to expertise and resources to develop entrepreneurial, revenue-generating plans to support and expand their missions in a resource-challenged world. After reading Avery's brief blog, listen to Mike Oxman, No Margin, No Mission, Managing Partner & Principal, Eastern U.S., in a recent podcast about the significance of LWRCC (leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture).


What connects an event venue, a costume rental service, and an adult education and vocational program? "Fast Pitches" with the Margin and Mission Ignition (MMI) initiative.

What's a Fast Pitch? In the words of Larry Clark and Mike Oxman, it's "a gentler version of Shark Tank, where organizations showcase their business plan and mission impact to make a case to investors for start-up capital."

MMI is an initiative that focuses on helping nonprofits increase their impact through financial sustainability by way of mission-aligned earned-income ventures. This work aims to develop financial models with diverse revenue sources to help organizations be more thrivable and extend their capacity to do good in the community.

Over the span of 72 hours, I had the privilege of listening in on three of these Fast Pitches and was amazed at the time, dedication, and mentorship that went into creating each unique business plan. Explaining the months-long process of meeting, planning, and practicing helped set the stage.

On Saturday, July 22, Art Center Sarasota gave their Fast Pitch to a full house eager to hear about their rental venture to support their services to artists in the community. This Fast Pitch allowed guests to explore the juried art exhibition and interact with the beautiful space.

On Monday, July 24, Sarasota Opera shared about their costume rental service, the history of the costumes in the collection, and the mission impact this venture would have on their organization. We were able to take a tour of their 50,000 costume collection (and even try on a piece or two!).

On Tuesday, July 25, Beyond the Spectrum provided insight into their second earned-income venture with MMI to expand their adult educational and vocational programming. This session was accompanied by ice cream from RISE & Nye's, and the event greeter participated in Beyond the Spectrum's current programming.

These nonprofits provided insight into how earned-income ventures can help an organization become more thrivable and highlighted the staff's dedication to increasing mission impact. Nonprofit is a tax status, and while some may see this as limiting the potential for earned-income ventures, TPF and MMI believe that this status opens up a whole new realm of possibilities and opportunities for connection. These investments will influence the future of this community, and it will be exciting to see where these ventures will lead.

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