Category Archives: Nonprofit Sector


Jan

29

2013

Guest Post – Is It Time For New Terminology?

 A post by Jim Thalhuber In a recent Harvard Business Review posting (HRB Blog Network, January 14, 2013), author Deborah Mills-Scofield argues that the historical distinction between “social” and “non-social” businesses, and “purpose” vs. “profit” is artificial and antiquated.  Ms. Mills-Scofield cites several examples of companies that “profitably and purposefully balance doing well and doing good,” including Patagonia, Virgin and Cemex. Right on, Ms. Mills-Scofield!  And I would add to your list the terms “nonprofit” and “for-profit.”


Jan

21

2013

Twelve Elements of a Nonprofit’s Business Model

 A posting by James V. Toscano What are the various elements of a nonprofit’s business model? Most nonprofit executives answer “What business model?” Nonprofits don’t often think about business models. If we probe, we hear about Mission and Vision, perhaps the elevator speech. And, maybe, that’s one of the problems. Yet, we really need to start thinking about business models, especially if we wish to have the resources we need now to do our jobs well. We need to stretch, to find alternative revenue sources to join our diminishing traditional sources, to become more efficient, more “business-like.” Analysis of our…

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Jan

14

2013
To B or Not to B?

To B or Not to B?

 A Post by James V. Toscano The B Corp is emerging as an innovative way to use the power of a business model and the market to help impact the major societal problems of our times. The B Corp may emerge as an alternative or a complement to much of the work being done now by the nonprofit sector. Time will tell how they are perceived, although both options are obviously important and both should prosper. There is room for both and more. The idea is certainly welcome. For years, I have been railing about our sector calling itself  “non-profit,” one of…

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Jan

02

2013
A Recap – The Most Popular Posts in 2012

A Recap – The Most Popular Posts in 2012

Happy New Year! In looking back over last year, Jim and I were interested to see what resonated with our readers the most and are eager to hear what topics our readers wished we’d written about. (The comment box below is a great place to let us know what you’d like to read more about, or if you’d prefer, send me an email at Dania(@)ToscanoAdvisors.com.) These are the top five most read posts of last year. 1.  5 Myths about Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations 2. Why Does a Nonprofit Board Need Young People? 3. The Ten “Must” Agreements Between…

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Dec

16

2012

Ten Predictions for the Nonprofit Sector in 2013

 A post by James V. Toscano 1. As traditional sources of gifts and grants plateau, nonprofits will increasingly turn to new and alternative sources of revenue, including social entrepreneurship, cause marketing, and for-profit subsidiaries. Pay for performance, in many forms, will be an emerging methodology for payment by government and other funding groups. 2.  The total number of nonprofits will increase year over year, as will the number of mergers and acquisitions among existing nonprofits. 3. Of those retiring Boomers from the business world and others who want to benefit society, some will choose to start B-corporations, which are double…

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Nov

26

2012

Is the Honeymoon Over?

 A post by James V. Toscano Is the long honeymoon between government and nonprofits winding up on a particularly sour note? In my last posting, Plus Ca Change, the role of nonprofits in advocacy with government was discussed. Here the effects of changes  in public policy and efforts of nonprofits to find new sources of revenue are discussed. A recent Christian Science Monitor story. “A Political Chill for Charities?” details a number of moves made by cash-strapped government units on the  governance, operations and, especially, finances of nonprofits. Journalist Jeremiah Hall writes: “Perhaps the greatest threat is to a charity’s finances. Nonprofits…

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Nov

07

2012

Plus Ça Change

plus ça change A post by James V. Toscano Well, the long drawn out election process is over, with everything pretty much the same, albeit with early hints of a desire to get something done. President Obama returns for four more years, hopefully no more than one as a lame duck. Congress remains essentially the same, with the Democrats picking up one, possibly two, seats in the Senate while they have three more votes in their minority status in the House of Representative. Could we reverse the old saw and predict: “ Plus la même chose, plus ça change?” Pardon…

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Oct

29

2012
What Would Adam Smith Say?

What Would Adam Smith Say?

 A post by James V. Toscano The headline reads: “A Scoop of Social Responsibility: Ben and Jerry’s the B Corp” The NonProfit Quarterly’s Nonprofit Headlines goes on to report that Unilever’s Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Company is the first sub of a publicly traded corporation to be certified as a B corporation. And what is a B Corporation? The B Corporation website is quite explicit: “B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of…

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Oct

24

2012
The Revenue Crisis

The Revenue Crisis

 A post by James V. Toscano The traditional nonprofit revenue model is broken.  Revenue formulas are out of date. Contributions just don’t flow in the same way. Some revenue taps have dried up. Others, such as government, are fading. Traditional methods don’t work as well. It’s time to reimagined the nonprofit revenue paradigm. Attention and concern lately have focused on measuring results and impact. However, if we lack the resources to do the work, we get no results. Revenue always precedes results in priority. And if revenue sources demand results but do not pay to evaluate and obtain results, we…

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