Are you worried that your organisation is relying too much on donors? Is your funding situation preventing you from having the impact you are looking for? Would you like to run more and better programmes without having to worry about fluctuations in grant income? At Teach A Man To Fish we believe setting up a social enterprise is an effective solution to these problems. A social enterprise could be the perfect complement to your activities as you work towards fulfilling your social mission whilst improving your organisation’s financial sustainability. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Build Buy-In and a Shared Vision: You need to take your team with you - if they don't believe in it, you can't succeed with it! When you're used to relying on grant funding or donations the idea of generating income can seem intimidating, raise concerns about loss of focus on your social mission - or even suspicions about your motives. Clearly define what the organisation wants to achieve by listening to your team through consultations, surveys and focus groups!
- Build on Solid Ground: Use what you know and what you're good at. Often the best social enterprises start with what the organisations already have. Carry out a resources assessment to determine what is available to you: think about your team’s skills, expertise and experience, and all the resources available in your organisation. Reflect on this question with your team: How could you use your existing staff skills and expertise to start a business?
- Plan on Planning: There's an old saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. Researching and writing a simple business plan will help you refine and test your ideas. Others will understand the income generating opportunity you've identified and what it will take to launch and run it successfully (this will be particularly helpful if you need to attract funding to help with start up costs!). But before you plan, you need to have an idea! There are a number of techniques to help you come up with business ideas, such as using your empathy skills to understand the needs of your potential customers, brainstorming ideas with your team, or carrying out a feasibility study.
- Turn Problems into Opportunities: In order to turn problems into opportunities you need to really understand your customer and their needs: this takes observation and listening skills. Customers have a choice. Their preferences matter and customers may not pay for something if it doesn't meet their needs. You could, for example, complete an empathy map to help you understand the needs of your customers…
- Pivot, Iterate, Persevere: It's OK to change direction, and it's vital to keep seeking ways to improve your offering. Your initial ideas might not work, and that’s fine. As you continue on your journey, your next ideas will be starting from a point of experience. Prototype, test and collect feedback on a regular basis as you’ll need to know what impact your product/service is having on your customers, what works well and what doesn’t so you can make informed decisions.
As a nonprofit organisation we know how challenging financial sustainability can be. We are also aware that a short list of recommendations may not be enough to give your organisation the confidence it needs to start a social enterprise. But, if you're serious about starting income generation initiatives to support your nonprofit and would appreciate some support on your journey, we’ve got your back!
To support you on your journey to become financially stable, we have created a series of 3 short online courses on income generation for nonprofit organisations. The first course ‘Generating and Testing Ideas’, is available now - and we’re offering a 70% discount for the Launch! (Regular price: $159, with discount offer: only $49!).
With our hands-on entrepreneurial approach, you will take your ideas into action and as a result you will finish the 3 short courses having launched your social enterprise, and ready to start generating income for your organisation!
Our course will help you remedy the classic problems nonprofits are confronted with on a regular basis. Taking our online courses will benefit you and your nonprofit in various ways:
If you like to find out more about how our course can help you, click here.
So, how do you feel about taking up this fantastic opportunity and start solving your nonprofit's financial difficulties by growing a successful social enterprise? Our courses are tailored to your needs so don’t let this exclusive and limited launch offer pass you by; it’s only available until July 15th 2020. Don’t think about it twice, take advantage of this opportunity to achieve financial sustainability with our help!