A Field Guide for Charities Adding Earned-Income
I never wanted to write a book. But after serving with the nonprofit that launched iDonate and a few other businesses, I've been asked to help other charities with their business ideas. Patterns emerged and I realized it would be really handy to have a short book to encapsulate the key learnings from consulting with these organizations.
After years of work, the official edition of "The Profitable Charity" is available on Amazon. It's written as a short (61 pages) field guide for leaders and board members of nonprofits.
Here's a synopsis:
Donors and nonprofit leaders are hungry for better ways to accomplish the change they seek. Charity is essential, but it’s simply not enough. Enter Charity Enterprise with the power to build revenue and accelerate your organization’s impact.
This book provides the tools you need to get started. You’ll learn:
- Why traditional charity cannot be the only solution to human suffering
- Why changing donor demographics are making fundraising harder, necessitating a change in how charities fund their mission
- What Charity Enterprise is, and is not
- How to create sustainable revenue in a charity or nonprofit context
- How others are impacting communities with Charity Enterprise
Some people have been nice enough to say kind things about the book:
"In my experience working with global business and nonprofits, Charity Enterprise has been quietly changing lives and communities. Every nonprofit leader should read this book."
- Tami Heim, President and CEO, Christian Leadership Alliance
Aimee Minnich challenges us to rethink what it means to be socially minded and empowering in our ministry endeavors. This book will move you to unleash innovation and creativity in addressing your ministry mission. I believe Minnich’s ideas will fire the imagination of those who read it and inspire a new kind of ministry effort that will not only change lives but also generate the revenue to sustain the ongoing mission.
- Mike King, President/CEO of Youthfront and Senior Advisor at Museum of the Bible
I'm really grateful for help and inspiration from Bill High, Lindsay Donaldson, and Mike Loomis. Each of you guys is amazing in totally different ways.
For those looking to meet like-minded investors and business owners or learn more about what God is doing in faith-driven entrepreneurial ventures, The Lion’s Den event in Birmingham is the place to be.
The Lion’s Den exists to “Inspire, Educate and Mobilize” people to invest their time, talents, and other resources in the Kingdom through “Business as Mission.” 2018’s event had more than 300 attendees from 10 countries, 83 cities, and 25 states. Held October 9-10 in Birmingham, Alabama at Samford University, the Lion’s Den Event is really two events in one.
Join me and hundreds of like-minded peers for the 8th annual Business as Mission Conference. It promises to be the most comprehensive global gathering of business people, mission agencies, churches, academics, and students who thrive at the convergence of business and missions. Meet the people behind the success stories that will inspire, encourage, and motivate you. Learn what God is doing in business & missions, and where you fit.
You don’t want to miss it! They offer flexible ticket options so you can attend for the entire weekend or just one day.
When heeding the commands of a sovereign God whose purposes for His people are always good, there is no way to lose. The only true risk is to run from His call and bury our assets in the ground, where they cannot be put to work for His Objectives’
We want to move up and to the right — that’s success, right? More profit, more impact. And often that’s the line that secular impact investing keeps feeding us. A major study by the Global Impact Investing Network suggests there’s no trade-off between profit and impact. Does that need to be our definition of success too? Or does our faith compel us to a different standard?
If we want to make a dent in global poverty through our investments, we must become more familiar with this ancient practice.
Melody Murray, co-founder of Joy Corps and JOYN Bags and recent immigrant from the US to Southeast Asia, shares her perspective on being a foreigner and the promise of Advent.
This Christmas season, I have been remembering that Jesus felt all these things too. He was born into a condition of homelessness. He spent part of his childhood as a refugee in a foreign country and his adulthood with “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
Every profession has its hazards. For mine, it’s lawyer jokes and requests for free legal advice.
This blog contains neither, but it will provide a little education on the basic forms of corporations so you’ll sound smart when you call your own counsel.
Some states offer a larger array of options; this blog discusses the most popular entity choices including corporations, LLC, low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs), and benefit corporations.
Anytime someone says, “I’m thinking of starting a nonprofit,” my immediate thought is to make sure I can’t talk them out of it.
As Dan Palotta points out in his semi-famous Ted Talk titled “The Way We Think about Charity is Dead Wrong”, charities/nonprofits face tremendous headwinds toward scalability. Palotta examined the number of organizations surpassing $50M in revenue since 1970, and found only 144 charities reached that level while 46,136 for-profit companies did.
Question: How much impact/financial return will I get from impact investing?
Answer: It depends.
Kingdom impact investing may be easiest to see in the context of poverty reduction and evangelism. But we have seen hundreds of companies tackling a wide range of issues through business models as diverse as bus seat manufacturing, hydroelectric power, software development, and a cattle feed lot. Likewise, the potential return for investors is equally varied.
Should I offer investors a SAFE or a convertible note? What’s the difference and is one always better than the other?
A convertible note is a type of debt that has the right to convert into equity when a company hits an agreed-upon milestone, typically the next round of funding. If the milestone isn’t hit, the company owes the investors their original capital plus interest. Cite.
A SAFE, or Simple Agreement for Future Equity, is “an agreement between an investor and a company that provides rights to the investor for future equity in the company similar to a warrant, except without determining a specific price per share at the time of the initial investment.” Cite
I’m training for the Kansas City Marathon to raise money for World Vision’s clean water initiative. It’s quite possibly the least efficient fundraising strategy I’ve ever tried. Considering the time involved in training, recovery and fundraising it feels like I’ve raised about 25 cents per hour. Fortunately, I don’t think that’s the way we’re supposed to measure success.
I would do the running anyway because I love it and it keeps me mentally and physically healthy. Raising money gives the running even more meaning.