From Research

Are nonprofits only “Safety Nets?” More on Passion & Purpose

I have a very hard time reducing the performing arts, historical societies, art museums, conservation, environmental education, youth development, international development, philanthropy, peace and justice, women’s rights, and civil rights, to name a few, to the descriptor “Safety Net.” To me, this characterization grossly diminishes the societal benefit that these types of organizations provide.

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Diversify your revenue base? Maybe

Research from the Bridgestar group raises a question about the prevailing belief that successful nonprofits diversify their revenue bases.

The article is called “How Nonprofits Get Really Big” and was published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Here’s what the research found in brief:

“Since 1970, more than 200,000 nonprofits have opened in the U.S., but only 144 of them have reached $50 million in annual revenue. Most of the members of this elite group got big by doing two things. They raised the bulk of their money from a single type of funder such as corporations or government, and not, as conventional wisdom would recommend, by going after diverse sources of funding. Just as importantly, these nonprofits created professional organizations that were tailored to the needs of their primary funding sources.”