Have you thought about your business model recently? It’s not a question many nonprofits answer or even ponder. This article from Nonprofit Quarterly talks about six different business models for nonprofits:
I’ve been reading “Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur (see: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com). I’m reading it ostensibly because I operate my own business and I’m about to convene a group of advisors to help me brainstorm some business model ideas.
And as I’m reading it, there are a good number of ideas for the nonprofits I work with. Strategic plans are the tool of choice these days, but I’m less enamored of these doorstops than some of my colleagues. Having a (lowercase) plan and a business model is so much more important.
- Who are your customers?
- What value do you provide
- What are all of your potential revenue streams?
These are just some of the questions you will have to answer. You might surprise yourself with what you come up with. And it might shift your dependency on grants or one angel funder or all of those special events you hold each year.
(Thanks to Jen Hurley for suggesting I buy the book.)