Sisarina hearts nonprofits, and of course we at Small Act do, too! That's why we're partnering for a blog series this month about how to be a top-notch, intentional nonprofit. So far, we've had two posts by Jenny Trucano, our awesome client ambassador. Coming up, you'll see posts from our CEO, Casey Golden, as well as our Chief Love Officer, Kate Hays, and our other awesome client ambassador, Katie Shields. Snippets of the first two posts are below - watch our blog and Sisarina's blog for posts throughout the month of February.
Patagonia: Product, Planet & People
By Jenny Trucano
Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, led the way for businesses to measure organizational success not just by profits, but also by environmental and social impact. I recently heard Chouinard tell Patagonia’s story.
In 1989, Patagonia’s sales of outdoor gear and clothes had grown by nearly 50% in over 1988. Then the recession hit in 1990 and Patagonia hit a crisis point—the company had no cash reserves, its bank was going under, and it had to lay off nearly 20% of its staff.
Chouinard realized that although Patagonia was growing like crazy, it was completely unsustainable. The crisis prompted Chouinard and his team to ask, “Why are we in business?” They spent ten days in the mountains of Patagonia outlining their values…[continue reading]
Last week, I wrote about what businesses can learn from nonprofits, namely, how companies can evaluate company health and sustainability by looking not just at financial health, but also at environmental and social impact.
This week, I want to flip that around and look at what nonprofits can learn from business, which is how nonprofits can be more profitable and thus more sustainable.
But nonprofits can’t profit, right? Not quite. Nonprofits can generate profits. They just can’t distribute those profits to owners or shareholders like for-profit organizations can, and they must use income to further their missions.
As many nonprofits have likely learned during the recession, relying on foundations and donors can be risky, particularly if a large portion of the nonprofit’s income comes from a small number of sources. Losing one funding source can put entire programs, and maybe even the organization, in jeopardy...[continue reading]