Boost nonprofit revenues with ‘social enterprise’
In these lean times for nonprofits, one way to find additional sources of revenue is in the area of “social enterprises” – a model for creating a business within a nonprofit that earns money for the organization. On Wednesday, Our Future Summit hosts a forum on how to go about doing so, and it features some people with strong experience in such enterprises.”It’s hot right now” said Steve Smith of Right Path Investments and Financial Planning in Frisco, who will be one of the forums presenters. “Charitable foundations and philanthropic organizations are really stretching donation dollars, making it harder for organizations to survive just on those donations. All nonprofits are looking for ways to supplement their revenues, and social enterprise is a great way to do it.”Smith said Summit County has a number of good examples of such enterprises, most notably the thrift store at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, which provides a large portion of FIRC’s funding. Anita Overmyer of FIRC will also be on hand to talk about the organization’s way of doing business.”The whole point is to introduce the concept to the community,” Smith said of Wednesday’s forum. “There are a lot of people from the business world retired here in Summit County, so it’s a way to excite their inner entrepreneur and to get them to participate more in the social mission.”Smith noted that tax laws for nonprofits restrict such social enterprises to things related to the organization’s overall mission – and there are a number of other things nonprofits need to know before diving in. He said for-profit businesses can also find ways to work in the social enterprise space.The forum is aimed at nonprofit leaders looking for more sustainable resources; for-profit businesses looking to make a positive impact on the community; investors or philanthropists looking to learn new ways to leverage capital; and government agencies looking for ways to collaborate with talent and energy in the community.
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