Good 360
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
Opinion  |  Leadership

Switch NFP. What About FI?


Tuesday, 17th January 2017 at 8:20 am
Natasha Hudson
What if the not-for-profit sector described itself as what it is: For Impact (FI), asks consultant Natasha Hudson.


Tuesday, 17th January 2017
at 8:20 am
Natasha Hudson


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Switch NFP. What About FI?
Tuesday, 17th January 2017 at 8:20 am

What if the not-for-profit sector described itself as what it is: For Impact (FI), asks consultant Natasha Hudson.

I’ve always struggled with binary labels. In particular, those labels that describe a minority group as oppositional to a majority one. NFPs are not oppositional to for profits; NFPs do things differently because they exist to make a difference.

From a strengths-based perspective, I wonder what windows of opportunity would open up if organisations simply identified with their mission (and not their corporate status) to help make the lives of people and our planet better.

If the label fits, wear it!

For for-profit organisations that only have profit as their aim, then the label is apt.

But for organisations that have altruistic motives (ie to make the world a better place), the NFP label doesn’t really cut the mustard.

I have not yet come across an NFP that has as its purpose to not make profit. It may be true that NFPs do not make a profit, but it should not imply they are for loss!

Hence my concern with identifying as a not for profit. The label shapes our identity and our identity informs how we behave. While organisations must choose a legal and taxation structure best aligned to its goals, it should not be an organisation’s locus of control.

Shifting sands of the sector

There are many external pressures causing organisations to evaluate their future and how best to achieve their mission in a changing environment.

Societal changes in giving and volunteering, dwindling funding opportunities, shifts to user-pays models, and a rise in commercial models (like social enterprises) are among a number of factors causing NFPs to review, reform or retire.

Further, as consumers increasingly expect for profits to demonstrate their social value, the lines between for-profit and not-for-profit organisations are becoming a tad murky.

A moral identity

The for-profit/not-for-profit binary appears to have a moral interpretation whereby:

Not for profit = good

For profit = bad

This identity quagmire translates to traditional NFPs being fearful and ill-equipped to operate in market environments, unwilling to consider the benefits of applying commercial practices and dubious of for profits with for-purpose aims.

These unhelpful labels need to go. We need to shift our focus to outcomes – whether organisations are indeed impactful – instead of whether organisations are for profit or not for profit.

A future For Impact

I see a future where, irrespective of corporate structure, organisations will market themselves on the basis of their impact.

Being outcomes-focused will increase awareness and opportunities for greater impact by leveraging strengths across an outcome domain to work smarter.

I’m excited because the future is full of creativity where social purpose is meshed with commercial practices. Together, we may lift and propel our communities towards a For-Impact future.

Quick poll

How do you think FI would affect the strategic, financial, service and operational decisions your organisation makes? Leave your comment in the section below.

About the author: Natasha Hudson is principal strategist at Coforte Consulting. Her mission is to make For Impact the norm. She believes that when we contribute our strengths to help each other be our best selves amazing outcomes will be achieved.


Natasha Hudson  |   |  @ProBonoNews

Natasha Hudson is principal strategist at Coforte Consulting. Her mission is to make For Impact the norm.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

...


More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Yes to Same Sex Marriage: Human Rights in the Balance

Amy Maguire

Wednesday, 15th November 2017 at 3:07 pm

Shifting the Dial: From Profits and Process to Community Building

David Crosbie

Thursday, 26th October 2017 at 8:30 am

Building Trust

David Crosbie

Thursday, 31st August 2017 at 8:34 am

Why Fundraising Laws Need Urgent Reform

Contributor

Wednesday, 30th August 2017 at 1:39 pm

POPULAR

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

Concerns Raised Over New ACNC Board Appointments

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th November 2017 at 2:28 pm

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

One Comment

  • Sandhya Chakravarty says:

    Rebranding the NFP sector is the way to go. FI would , in my opinion, switch the mind sets and transform the sector .

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Good 360
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!