There's no shame in money- even if you’re a Non- profit
by Ifat Baron Goldberg
Published in The Marker April 29 2018
Every NPO should ensure its future existence by utilizing an income- generating model, developing quality services necessary for the free market. If we ask any CEO of a business sector company what their main business goal is, the reply would probably be- profitability. That same CEO wouldn't have a problem looking us straight in the eye and add they wake up every morning to make money. In civic society- the realm of NPO's- money isn’t a topic easily raised. True, in the world of civic action, money is the means to reach the desired outcome- not the desired outcome itself. But very little can be done without money. I'm not the first tooting the horn of Money as Means to promote social agenda- agenda that is designed to make a society better and inclusive. Enter Million Dollar question: Why do NPO's need to struggle for the right to make our world a better one? Why must they rely on philanthropy with its limited resources, grants and governmental tenders, rather than charging for services?
Colossal financial events in the last decade have turned fundraising to an almost impossible task. In a perfect world, it would be considered legitimate for a civic society organization to charge money for services tendered by the organization, to allow its sustainability, hence, to continue working for the greater good. Imagine it to be an engine powered by self- generated income which, if you think about it, could be the Nirvana for NPO's from a financial stability standpoint. Businesses around the world are taking Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) a step forward, a blessed move on its own. The existential need still exists for non-profits, however. NPO's operate with minimal budgets, their staffs' salaries reflect that. This is an absurd especially since the social sector views money as a means to an end. There are many advantages for fundraising from philanthropy and governmental agencies but the dependency on these funding sources is problematic, especially when this kind of support ceases bringing down an entire organization, regardless of it its social contribution. In current times, every not-for-profit association must ensure its future by utilizing an income- generating model, developing solutions and services that the market needs. It should not base itself completely on external resources of funding. It’s called economic independence. The vision, mission and ultimate organizational goal remain untouched. Not-for-profits are supposed to stay that way- not for profit- so no one is getting rich in this story. But we all gain. Not money but values. For example, it isn't far fetched that NPO's promoting employment diversity would develop an income model based on recruitment fees- a crucial service for any organization. The market is in dire need for human capital and everyone knows that diversity isn’t a luxury but an existential necessity. In juxtaposition, there are populations lacking the accessibility to employment options, made up of talented job seekers in desperate need for bridges to potential employers. The employers require tools for recruitment from these populations, the jobseekers need to be given an opportunity and NPO's can fill in the professional gaps between both.Only if the social sector would teach the business sector that services tendered should be paid for- will the business sector learn to pay for those services. With money, not sheep and camels.