Running a nonprofit business is one of the most rewarding things that anyone can do. Every day, you commit time and energy into improving your community and making a difference in the world around you. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Unfortunately, for many struggling nonprofits, the price tag would probably be pretty low. Why does the most rewarding job in the world never feel financially rewarding?  Do you feel like you are always scrambling or dipping into your own pocket to keep the lights on?

Smart Nonprofits Borrow Business Tricks

Don’t be another struggling nonprofit with limited societal impact.  Consider adding a few more of the “business” elements back into your nonprofit business.  After all, it will end in more resources to devote to your community and your goal.  Better yet, your nonprofit organization won’t always operate on a shoestring budget.

When you are ready to business up your nonprofit, here are 4 traditional business concepts that you should use today:

Write a Business Plan (And Use It)

A Business Plan is a roadmap.  It identifies where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there.

Smart businesses begin with a Business Plan and continually review the plan to track their accomplishments and set new goals.

Don’t know how to start?  Check out 6 Reasons to Create a Business Plan.  For more resources, visit the SCORE Learning Center.  SCORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping businesses and nonprofits succeed.

Create a Budget (And Stick To It)

Most businesses live and die by their budget.

Create a budget by tracking all of the incomes and assets you have coming in and all of the bills and expenses you have going out.

If you don’t know where your money goes and where it comes from, you will not be prepared for monthly fluctuations in cash flow.  Also, you will not be able to strategically plan your yearly budget and fundraising goals

Consider the fact that income is more than just money, too. Volunteer time is an asset you have to spend wisely and not waste!

Track Metrics (Including Customer Satisfaction)

You should be tracking various metrics across your nonprofit to see any trends that you can identify.

One of the metrics should absolutely be customer satisfaction.  This measures where, when, and how you meet (or don’t meet) your customers’ needs.  With this knowledge, you can then improve your operations.

Don’t have customers?  Sure you do.  In the nonprofit world, we often call customers by other names, such as “clients”, “people served”, “the community”, “constituents” and other names.  Don’t be fooled.  These are your customers no matter what label you give them.

Play around with testing different options and see which ones are responded to most positively across the board. This will help you decide where your focus is best spent.

Set Long and Short-Term Goals

Most nonprofits are built on goals – but can they survive on them?

Most businesses create KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that they evaluate over a short period of time.

For instance, your KPI may be “to increase donations received by five percent in the next quarter.”

Then, you put your specific energy into achieving that KPI, and evaluate how you did at the end.

On the flip side, consider creating a Vision Board for more long-term goals and inspiration. It might even inspire you from a design standpoint as well!

Get the Solutions You’re Searching For

As any nonprofit owner will tell you, you get by with a little help from your friends. Running a labor of love requires some help from others.

At Concerto Law, we can help get your nonprofit running with business concepts that will take it to the next level and move towards financial flexibility. To discover nonprofit solutions that break through the noise of bad internet advice, contact Concerto Law today!

We offer practical advice for nonprofit organizations.