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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

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Chapter 26 Earned Income Strategies

Guest Contributor: Rick Aubry

“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.”

—Bill Drayton

Introduction

The word “entrepreneur” is French and literally means “to take into hand.” It’s about owning your own destiny, which is appealing to any organization that’s suffered when economies take a downturn or after a long-term supporter disappears or decreases funding you were counting on.

Moreover, many nonprofits are innovative and entrepreneurial in their approach toward tackling social issues. Combined, these notions can sometimes lead to the idea that generating revenue from earned income via a “social enterprise” is a natural extension that will strengthen financial independence and create a more sustainable organization.

If only it were that straightforward.

This chapter, contributed by guest author Rick Aubry, longtime director of Rubicon Programs, professor of social enterprise at Stanford and Tulane Universities, and earned income veteran, is designed to introduce you to the basic tenants of earned income/social enterprise strategies and help you assess whether it’s appropriate for your organization. We’ll also share a framework for success and provide guidelines on how to make the decisions in a social enterprise environment. Let’s get started.

Critical Skills and Competencies

1. Define the Terms

Our working definition for “earned ...

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