Tag Archives: Commercial

Generate Revenue, Do Good

As a social entrepreneur and founder of a nonprofit, I’m often considering and discussing the best models for organizations that want to do good.  Should they be nonprofit?  For-profit?  A blending of the two?  Should they focus on fundraising or revenue generation?

Lindsay Clinton recently raised these questions on Social Edge with her post, “The Social and Commercial Two-Step.”  Here was my contribution to the discussion:

A very interesting discussion and thank you for all the knowledge. 

As more nonprofits jump into the fray of generating revenue, we’ll need to figure out how to allow them to continue to do social good.

I think an important part is leadership in how you bring in funds.  Key items for CEOs and Executive Directors:

1- Do you feel donations are a part of your culture?
2- Do you enjoy fundraising?
3- Are you happy receiving revenue from services, from paying sources?
4- Do you enjoy the sales aspect of being paid for a service?

These are important questions to ask as per the legal structure and culture of your organization.

My ideal world is to:

*Have a pure brand with a focus on being a nonprofit. We exist to provide social good.
*Generate revenue from companies.  They foot the bill for our public service.

So ideally I’d like to be a nonprofit that primarily funds itself through corporate services. The companies actually allow us provide our service for free to the public.  I don’t think we have the proper legal structures ready for this type of mindset in abundance.


Pamela Hawley

Founder and CEO