What is the difference between a nonprofit and a for-profit organization?
It is a deceptively straightforward question... but before responding with the obvious answer, consider the following.
• Regardless of tax status, all businesses need money—regularly, consistently, usually in increasing quantities over their lives.
• Both nonprofits and for-profits will often provide goods or services in exchange for that money, whether through an entertainment-centered fundraiser, or through providing entertainment media.
• Both want desperately to retain whoever gives them money and encourage donations again in the future.
• Both live or die by convincing people—groups, other organizations, individuals, etc.—to give them money, through marketing.
Ultimately, the difference is that nonprofits don't keep whatever is left over; for-profit companies try to maximize the leftovers to distribute among owners.
- Well-defined goals with a clear, unifying mission
- An honest, critical self-assessment
- A set of tools, measures, and standards for conducting future/ongoing assessments
- Identifying and understanding the competition
- A target audience or market from whom to solicit business/contributions
- A quality marketing strategy, which integrates and supports all the foundational elements of the overall business plan