More nonprofits than ever are considering starting or expanding business operations that can help support their core missions.
Rolfe Larson, a consultant who helps nonprofits plan and set up social ventures, is the author of a wonderful book on the topic, Venture Forth! The Essential Guide to Starting a Moneymaking Business in Your Nonprofit Organization.
Larson suggests that an organization use these criteria to pick the most likely business ideas once you have generated a list of likely possibilities:
- What is the strategic fit? Does this venture fit with your mission and strategic plan?
- What is the core competency fit? Will this venture help your group build valuable new core competencies?
- Will it help your organization expand core competencies? Will this venture help you build valuable new capabilities?
- Does the idea fit the profile of your core customer? Does it involve some of your core customers or others just like them?
- Will customers pay? Does this idea really have the potential to generate profit?