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Profit and Loss: The Business of Non-Profit

Thoughts towards the financial responsibilities of a non-profit from Howard Ecoworks Deputy Director Don Tsusaki

Does non-profit mean no-profit? Has anyone ever told you that a non-profit must hit zero profit at the end of the year? Or have you run into the notion that a non-profit needn’t concern itself with making profits?

Many people with whom I have spoken strenuously expressed such notions. Though the thoughts behind the questions are a little off, perhaps the underlying messages have more to do with passion for the mission, and “don’t bother us with the nit-picky administrative details.”

I propose a different question: “How can well-oiled business machinery help a non-profit deliver value more effectively?”

Shall we start a discussion around the business of running a non-profit? Would kicking some ideas around be helpful? Would it be useful to share knowledge and experience with regard to running a non-profit?

Let me close by asserting that, however a non-profit receives funds, it has a moral, if not fiduciary responsibility to be a good steward of those funds, and must use them wisely.

by Don Tsusaki

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