The Nature of Non-profit Businesses

By C.C. Ryder

Unlike most businesses, non-profits do not, as the name implies, make a profit. Non-profits are established to advocate a particular point of view or further a common social cause. The ultimate goal of a non-profit is to change society’s perceptions, to lend support, to serve, to fight for and defend the needs of the cause. Non-profits also give value to the cause they serve. Non-profits strive to make changes that better people’s lives by making much needed services available for free. Operating a non-profit business successfully is far more complicated and far more time consuming than simply providing a product or service already in demand by a consumer who is able to pay for the privilege. Maintaining a non-profit is always a difficult endeavor. Non-profits depend upon the collective creativity of both its employees and consumers.

So, how do non-profits continue to survive? Non-profits consistently rely on government grants, the generosity of benefactors, and community donations in order to survive. Not surprisingly, non-profits are more commonly known as the “beggars of business.” What this means is that because non-profits have a very scant operating budget with which to work, non-profits must constantly apply for grants, which in itself is a full time job.  They must continually promote fundraising events. They must rely on their benefactors’ continued donations. They must be willing to urge outside maintenance repairpersons to discount their work and retailers to provide necessary equipment at a lower cost. Non-profits have to be willing to beg for their cause, and they must be able to find individuals who are willing to work for far less pay then they would receive working at a for-profit business.

Gandhi once said, “Be a part of the change that you would like to see.” While it is not impossible for a single individual to positively promote change, it is far more effective when an entire community collectively promotes that change. Non-profits belong to the community, and in return, it is ideal for the consumers of the non-profit to “pay it forward.” Get into the habit of paying it forward by cherishing and serving your community. Give back to the non-profit organization that serves you whenever you can. Get out there and actively contribute by donating your time, funds, services or goods, and help your non-profit conserve on overhead expenses.

Take responsibility for assisting your non-profit business in a positive way. Offer solutions for the issues at hand and contribute to the changes that may be needed. Help and support those organizations that have consistently served your cause. I guarantee that by giving back to your non-profit organization in a positive way, you will become far more empowered. For without these non-profit organizations, the causes they support and the services they provide to the community would be non-existent.

For these reasons listed above, I would like to encourage you to support DHHSC by volunteering your time and skills and/or donate to DHHSC’s many programs/services.  DHHSC exists to serve you, and DHHSC needs YOUR support.


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