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Non-profit organizations and social enterprisesNon-profit organizations and social enterprises


Non-profit organizations are...

Organizations with a social purpose (e.g.to reduce poverty), furthered by reinvesting most or all of their profits (like Wikipedia, pictured right).

They are also called social enterprises or not-for-profit organizations.



How to be a successful non-profit organization (the 4 C’s)


Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

1. Conscience – people before profit

A non-profit organization’s founders (sometimes called social entrepreneurs) and employees are passionate about a particular social purpose.

Examples are:

  • Charities like Oxfam and the Red Cross.
  • Environmental groups like Friends of the Earth.
  • Political groups like America’s NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People). Non-profit organizations and social enterprises 
  • Retail co-operatives (stores owned by its customers who receive a share of the profits).
  • Fifteen – a group of restaurants run by unemployed people and set up by the British chef, Jamie Oliver, pictured right.
  • Big Issue – a magazine sold by the homeless in Britain to get them off the streets.



Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

2. Customers – they must come first

Non-profit organizations’ social purpose makes them attractive to customers.

So marketing (whose aim is customer satisfaction) in such organizations is often called social marketing.


Non-profit organizations and social enterprises


3. Commitment

Employees in non-profit organizations are inspired to work hard because they believe in what they’re doing.



4. Cost control

Any non-profit organization is motivated to minimize its costs, so that it can spend as much as possible on achieving its social purpose.


Key quotes explained


 Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

“To improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity”

- the mission (or purpose) of the International Red Cross.

This aim to help the poor and needy inspires its employees throughout the world.



Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

“We made giving exciting”

- Bob Geldof  ,campaigner for Africa (pictured right)

This is his explanation for the success of the Live Aid concerts he organized in 1985 to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

People didn’t just talk about it, Geldof said, they were inspired to do something about it.



Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in”

- Rosa Parks , secretary of the NAACP, the civil rights group, in Montgomery, Alabama (pictured right)

This is why she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 (as African Americans were then obliged to do).

Her courage sparked off the American civil rights movement and is similar to the dedicated resolve of employees in all non-profit organizations.


Best books


Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

Philip Kotler (pictured right), Strategic Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations (1991)

Customer satisfaction in non-profit organizations requires great leadership and outside help.



Non-profit organizations and social enterprises

Muhammad Yunus (pictured right) , Creating a World Without Poverty (2008)

Non-profit organizations (“social businesses”) are vital to eradicate world poverty and improve education and health care for the poor.

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