Non-Profit is Just Another Business Model

Brad Slaker, founder of DesignWise, didn’t set out to create a non-profit, he told a crowd at Business4Better. It just turned out to be the best business model. A “volunteer-based business model” meant they could design products for a fraction of the usual cost, so it became feasible to focus on what is usually an under-funded field – pediatrics. “I worked in the medical device industry for 20 years; I never even heard of a pediatric project being initiated,” he reported. Now he works on them all the time.

Designwise PT Rover Push Cart for mobility challenged young adults.

Of course, a volunteer-based business would just be about free labor if the only goal were capital. But Slaker’s real goal is to create products to help kids that otherwise would suffer. He just wants the effort to be self-sustaining.

He thinks about DesignWise as a business. It’s just a business that is valued on more than financial growth. Continue reading

8 Tips for Nonprofit Partnerships

Carol Cone, an internationally recognized leader in CSR and Global Practice Chair, Business + Social Purpose, offers eight tips for companies partnering with non-profits.

“It is not about you. There needs to be your goals, the partner goals and shared goals,” she said at the Business4Better conference. “And then you need to evolve the partnership.  Don’t just manage the program, create relationship management.”

Here are eight tips Cone gave the audience for successful partnerships with nonprofits:

 

  1. Get  leadership buy-in
  2. Clearly define roles and responsibilities
  3. Plan realistic expectations and deadlines
  4. Evolve program elements
  5. Communicate continuously
  6. Provide expected and unexpected benefits and opportunities
  7. Celebrate accomplishments
  8. Actively manage relationships, not just programs

Defining Sports and Social Change: Sports Programs for Underserved Communities

This post is by guest blogger Howard Brodwin of Sports and Social Change, a sports marketing firm focused on cause marketing, CSR and social enterprise development.

What is a sports nonprofit organization?

In developing cause marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs around sports, this is a question my organization runs into quite often. While some people are familiar with a few well-known sports related nonprofits like Special Olympics or the Boys and Girls Clubs, the breadth and depth of what the programs in this space provide is truly unique. Recognizing the differences surrounding how these programs work and what type of impact they strive for are vitally important to anyone who wants to create an effective for-profit/nonprofit relationship in sports.

For those of you who come from the business side of the equation, I hope this provides a clearer picture of the overall sports nonprofit landscape so you can make better-informed decisions when selecting a nonprofit partner for cause marketing campaigns or broader CSR initiatives.

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Time to Reflect on Charity & Community Engagement for 2013

‘Tis the season for giving and a perfect time to reflect on your charity and community engagement initiatives for 2013. Amplifying this point, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook made headlines this week with a $500m stock donation to Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on education and health initiatives.

I working predominantly in the Tech industry and there are many great examples and stories of giving and philanthropy from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Salesforce.com and Marc Benioff’s Dream foundation. My colleague Kelley Damore of UBM Tech’s CRN outlines many examples in a recent article and even presents this in a slide presentation worth a look. While many of these are big examples, small and medium businesses and entreprenuers are having their own impact as outlined in Kelley’s “Charitable Endeavors: SMBs Can Think Big”.

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Open Call for Presenters for 2013 CSR Conference

Business4Better has opened its call for presenters for the 2013 Conference and Expo. B4B is looking for submissions from presenters with deep knowledge, passion, and innovative thinking in the areas of corporate community engagement, high-impact corporate social responsibility (CSR), skilled and pro-bono employee volunteering, and business / nonprofit partnerships.

Robert Kennedy 1963 - National Archives

The B4B content will help representatives from medium enterprises and nonprofits achieve the following:

Drive partnerships into the core business for maximum business and social impact

  • How to enhance and improve any business function with nonprofit partnerships
  • Getting internal business support for nonprofit partnerships that allows social efforts to grow to scale
  • Research findings on the business nonprofit partnerships Continue reading

Tips for Nonprofits: 5 Keys to Working With Corporate Partners

Because nonprofit managers are unaccustomed to corporate presence, nonprofit-business partnerships remain notoriously difficult. Still, there is no question that there are ways to succeed and that success often takes nonprofits to previously unimagined levels of impact. Indeed, there are enough successes (and failures) to identify five strategies that help ensure, not only that partnerships will not fall apart, but that they truly magnify the social sector impact. Continue reading

Nonprofit Insights: Video Storytelling

Nonprofits need to be creative to reach their audiences in ways that have immediate impact, inspire action and all the while being very conscious of expense.

 

Video storytelling is a powerful solution.

With a number of user-friendly multimedia tools, digital platforms and a variety of channels through which to spread a nonprofit message, developing and implementing an effective video strategy requires careful planning. Continue reading

The Latent Power of Corporate Partnerships

Nonprofit leaders are increasingly realizing the latent power of corporate partnerships. Bill Shore founded and built one of the nation’s largest anti-hunger organizations. Share Our Strength (SOS), by rejecting what he calls the system of setting for that tiny margin of the financial universe that consists of leftover wealth.

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FREE Exhibition Space To Nonprofits To Help Form Sustainable Corporate Partnerships

Business4Better Conference and Expo

Business4Better

The word ‘free’ doesn’t come up often enough in my opinion, but I’m so happy that it has in this case.

Every worthy nonprofit deserves a bit of ‘free.’

Business4Better has opened the application process for qualifying nonprofit organizations interested in fostering deeper and more impactful relationships with businesses to secure a free exhibit space at our inaugural event. Continue reading