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Managing a For-Profit Program Offered by a Non-Profit Organization
Beth Oleson, Executive Director, GAA, Food Safety Director, GFVGA

Most people have heard the old adage, “non-profit organizations can’t make a profit.” Not only is this wrong, but it is often the profit generated by association programs and activities that become essential to a non-profit organization’s survival.

TIP: To ensure the revenue generated through the for-profit program is not taxable, make sure the program lines up with the nonprofit’s purpose and guidance documents.

For-profit programs, like any service, are often most successful when they meet a viable need of the membership or their business. For most non-profit managers, many of these programs or services are stumbled upon as the work of the association takes place or in finding a solution to a member problem. This often results in a patch-work of solutions created “on the fly” as answers are found or problems occur. Learn from one who has been there, as it becomes apparent the program will succeed, take the time to stop, plan, hire business consultants, and create a flexible plan to grow the program and meet future needs of your membership.