What? A Value Proposition for Non-Profits?
Note: Value propositions are essential for any company; why not non-profit corporations? Here are two case histories of recent nonprofit clients that needed some help with that. Enjoy! Previous installments of my weekly blog can be found on my website at http://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/
A Little Background
In 2016 Americans donated $379 billion to nonprofits in the USA. This is a record-setting amount since statistics started being kept in 1954. What is even better about that number is that, after adjusting for inflation, charitable giving by Americans was seven times as big in 2016 as it was 62 years earlier.
Of course, one reason total giving went up is that the U.S. population almost doubled. But if we recalculate inflation-adjusted charitable giving on a per capita basis, we see that has also soared: by 3.5 times! (Source - Philanthropy Roundtable - http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/statistics/)
Set the Wayback Machine, Sherman!
In 1978, my first professional job was as the Director of Business Development and the Foundation for a community college just south of Seattle, WA. At that time, there were just over 300,000 501(c)3 corporations (nonprofits) in the US and Americans donated $100 billion during that year. In 2017, there are 1.7 million nonprofits in the US, and as you saw above, Americans donated $379 billion to these entities.
At that time, as it is now, most donations come from individuals who have disposable income - historically most people start giving gifts in their early 40's - and by comparison to today's giving environment, if you asked someone for a gift, you probably got one. I credit this to a number of factors, but here are a couple of biggies; there were far fewer nonprofits, and there was more institutional trust in companies and organizations. (NOTE: Today, just asking doesn't necessarily get you a gift, but it's a good start!)
All of the above serves as a backdrop for the subject of this article; i.e., the value proposition for a nonprofit; ergo, their mission statement. Because of the nature of the beast - a community college - we had to create a value