Non-Profits are businesses, too!

Sometimes a non-profit’s challenges are the same as any business person’s: Sometimes they’re so busy meeting the needs of one set of their “customers” who receive their services that they forget that they have other “clients.”

WE are also their clients: those of us who donate time, money, goods and services. Other business challenges are similar, too. Non-profits need to create a positive image and market themselves to their prospective “customers” – again, US. They need to get out in the community because the principles of marketing apply: you do business with people you know. How can you get to know what a non-profit does if you never come in contact with someone from the organization? That’s why attended networking events is a must.

For instance, here’s what Candace Mayo said when she was with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Colorado. She would attend networking events and tell everyone: “We need women who have the time to do fund- raising, planning, coordinating with the family (we call those folks family advocates), a public relations type (that can hype the build in the press), a grant writer (fundraiser). And of course, as in any project, we need good people persons who are great administrators and can sell the Women Build concept to others. Women business owners who would like to help are great go-getters. We always LOVE those!! If you are looking for a materials list (what it takes to build the house–sticks and bricks) let me know.”

So does networking work for the non-profits as well as it works for you? Oh, YES! Here’s what Diana Larson of Project Self-Sufficiency said: “…networking really does work. After I shared with others that Project Self-Sufficiency needed a computer consultant, several contacted us and I’m pleased to say that we are starting to work on our project with one of them. It was very helpful for our organization to receive recommendations of qualified individuals from others.”

It’s not me, ladies–it’s YOU who are connecting on many levels to help our businesses grow and our communities become an even better place to live. YOU are the ones who are doing exactly what the wonderful Linda W. Norton encouraged us to do: to blend business with community service. It’s up to YOU to make your community a wonderful place to rear a family.