The TRIPLE NET concept comes from the real estate world. In simple terms, the Triple Net lease means that the tenant is responsible for all of the costs relating to the asset being leased. Usually this means that in addition to the rent, the tenant is required to pay for real estate taxes, insurance, and property maintenance.
In the For Impact world, we use this Triple-Net concept to explain the true value of any fundraising activity.
For example, everyone talks about how much money they generated at their (not) special event.“We sold ‘x’ tables/tickets, etc.” The number stated is almost always revenue.
- Net Revenue would be total money generated minus actual cost of the event (food, etc.)
- Net, Net Revenue would then subtract the cost of labor/staff who worked on the event (often two or three people for six months or a year).
- Triple Net would then also deduct the cost of volunteer time and energy.
Note: Depending on how you want to play this game, there could be one more net, which would be the opportunity cost if staff or volunteers have been working on major gifts or top prospects.
Many smaller events that generate $5,000 or $10,000 in (single) net (revenue minus actual cost) end up having 1,000 women/man hours of volunteer time which comes out to $5 or $10 an hour. Ugh!
Try the Triple-Net math with your fundraising activities: