When is Earned Income Right for a Nonprofit?
- Analyzing assets to determine potential products/services to sell
- Conducting market research to determine competitors and consumers
- Pilot testing a product/service
- Creating a business plan including marketing, staffing, financial model, risks and mitigations
- Launching the business
One of my favorite examples of a nonprofit where earned income really works is English at Work. Its mission is to provide English language instruction at the worksite for employees of hotels, hospitals and restaurants. But the really interesting part is that it charges the hotels, hospitals and restaurants for these classes. The full costs of English at Work are not covered by those class fees, but the organization is working toward a financial model where 50 percent of its budget is funded by that earned income source. This is an example of a very successful, innovative and mission-tied earned income stream that will provide long-term financial sustainability. That's when earned income really works.
Nell Edgington is president of Social Velocity. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org Social Velocity will present the webinar "Financing Not Fundraising: Evaluating Earned Income" on May 23.