For Impact


Stop Being a Not-for-profit

Impact Drives Income (For Impact Message) | | Nick Fellers

Stop being a not-for-profit.

Why do we define our selves in the negative? It makes no sense. Does your organization exist to ‘not make any money’? Or, does it exist to save lives, change lives and impact lives?

Stop defining yourself by what you’re not. Start defining yourself by what you are for: impact.

More than a shift in language we need a different way of being.

This shift is about attitude. It’s about your purpose (the WHY). It’s about re-thinking an entire sector (or two).

In 1950 Earl Nightingale wrote The Strangest Secret to Success. The secret (common to many beliefs, all sectors and all definitions of success): "We become what we think about". What becomes of us when our entire thinking is about nonprofit? What if we think instead about changing the world?* What becomes?

Then there is some great thinking from Peter Drucker who wrote, "Every organization has to prepare for the abandonment of almost everything it does." That’s powerful. We agree. A lot of ‘stuff’ needs to be abandoned**.

Think not and be not about: Think and be about:
  • Charity, 501c3
  • Tin Cups,

  • Not-for-profit OR for-profit

  • A cool business/entrepreneur- changing the world.
  • “Selling your Vision”
  • For Impact!

*The Movement: We’ve been sharing this message for the last 15 years and living it for longer than that. The past few years has given rise to an incredible conversation around this VOCABULARY and CHANGE: Social Benefit (Drayton). Social Entrepreneurs/Enterprise. Pierre Odimyer and other change agents are putting resources into ‘for-profits’ that change the world. comes out and says they will have a ‘for-profit’. It’s no longer about not-for-profit vs. for-profit. It’s about For Impact.

**Abandonment (a start): Direct mail. Lengthy Case Statements. Feasibility Studies. "Volunteer Solicitations". Survival Pitches. Small thinking. Cultivation. Special events (that aren’t special and don’t raise money). Letters that read “We are a 501(c)3” (who cares?). Committee Reports….