Logo Not-Just-For-Profit
What is a Not-Just-For-Profit Company?
Many people believe that a ruthless, profit-driven management style is the best way to succeed in business. Nothing could be further from the truth. By focusing solely on profit, you destroy your company's long-term growth and may even diminish its short term potential. Look at any industry and you will find the companies that run best and last longest are those that follow some if not all of the 5 points of the Not-Just-For-Profit strategy.

The Not-Just-For-Profit Group was founded to help companies and individuals discover the five points for long-term success, help them reach these goals, and to recognize those who do. Companies who follow these practices will not only find themselves as leaders in their industries and communities, but profitable as well.

The 5 Branches of a Not-Just-For-Profit Company
Profit-Making Logo

Greed has hijacked profit-making. Greed is so prevalent that most people never consider that they may get more by taking less. In your personal life, eating pie is a good thing. Eat too much pie for too long, however, and serious problems will occur. This holds true in the business world as well. Lumber companies have discovered this the hard way. Many now work at a diminished capacity due to their previous business practices. Decisions made 30 years ago are hurting their companies, their communities, and their workers. Learning from their previous mistakes, most now work to limit their intake to ensure continual rejuvenation and long-term success.

On the other side of greed is the fear of money. Too many non-profits shun all profit making in lieu of their ethics or their cause. These groups are then forced to spend their precious time begging for money in lieu of working on the mission at hand. Like the instructions given to parents traveling with their infants, "place the oxygen mask on yourself before your child," so too must the cause-driven venture strive to be as healthy as possible if it is to defend or nurture its benefactor.

Individuals can also be guilty of not respecting money. Take for example the starving artist who believes they are "paying their dues", or "learning to sacrifice for their art". If conditions are tough, you should, of course, make the best of them, but don't delude yourself into thinking that this is a helpful or necessary situation. Money is like fire - it can warm you and keep you safe, or it can burn you.

Remember, it's possible to work toward your mission and make a fair profit, no matter if you are a non-profit or for-profit.

Community Logo

The relationships a business creates are generally its most undervalued asset. Vendors, customers, locals, fans, friends, and even your competition are all resources for helping your endeavor achieve its mission.

An easy way to see what your communities have to offer is allowing them to communicate. Holding meetings or running a mailing list are very simple ways of allowing communication to happen and deepening the strength the communities involved. You may let this grow in any direction that works with your mission. Whether it is in a neighborhood that needs a library or vendors that share a common interest. Ultimately, we are all parts of the same community, even if we don't see the relationship.

Ethics Logo

While no one can tell you what your ethics should be, you should at least define them for yourself. Create an Ethics Plan or add ethical strategies to your business plan. This is especially useful in those industries are wrought with questionable practices. Let your employees and partners know where your limits are. Remember, your ethics are something to be proud of, but when you find yourself dealing with people or companies with different ethics, that doesn't make them wrong, just different.

Individuals Logo

The individual is often called the cornerstone of capitalism. By empowering the individual, decisions can be made more quickly and efficiently. Employees are the best judges of how to make their own jobs easier and more efficient. By giving them the power to do so, overhead can be reduced and morale increased.

This is true not only for employees, but for customers as well. By providing customers with as much information as possible about your products and services and even your competitors' products and services, less support is required and better decisions can be reached.

Individuals may be the cornerstone of capitalism, but they are people first and foremost. It shouldn't have to be mentioned, but violating a person's rights is always dangerous. Companies that violate the rights of people in countries outside their own have created a second set of human rights. Customs and values may change, but human rights are the same everywhere.

Environment Logo

Financial audits are a normal part a business. Environmental audits should be too. Lost revenues are frequently hidden in environmental waste. Look through your trash and you could find a missing 10% of your profit margin!

Profit making isn't the only reason behind environmental awareness, but it may make those hard-to-justify changes more reasonable. Think about things like:

* How your employees get to lunch every day. Are they all driving cars, walking, or do they car pool?

* Investigate all paper use. Do you have to print it? Do you have to use a full sheet of paper? Can you reuse waste paper?

* Question all water use. When your company is done with the water it uses, what state is it in? Are there ways of reusing water within your company - creating a quality chain of water for eventual cleaning?

By making these actions more environmentally friendly, you will also make them more efficient.

Are you Not-Just-For-Profit?
If you have any questions about helping your company become a Not-Just-For-Profit company, please let us know. You may contact us at support@NotJustForProfit.org. We offer free consulting services to help you get started. We also host a community of Not-Just-For-Profit companies, groups and projects.

The Not-Just-For-Profit Group is seeking companies and individuals who wish to meet 2 or more of the goals on the 5-point Not-Just-For-Profit star. If you feel that your company meets these goals, or would like to, and would like to apply for membership to the Not-Just-For-Profit Group, please contact us at apply@NotJustForProfit.org.