Behaving Like A Business

Nonprofits employ for-profit strategies to meet their missions

January, 2003

Like their business brethren, Hawaii’s nonprofits are looking to become more efficient and deliver superior customer service at the same time. Most need to diversify sources of income to fund operating budgets that could be expanding to meet growing needs here.

Two exciting examples of nonprofit organizations taking themselves to the next level are the YMCA of Honolulu’s capital campaign and the new partnership between Goodwill Industries Hawaii and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu Inc.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Goodwill Industries of Hawaii plans to more than double its sales in 2003 from about $3.8 million to $7.8 million. The organization, which sells clothing and other donated items to fund job training and other services, plans this bombastic growth under a new contract just inked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu Inc. Under the contract, Goodwill will buy all of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ donations, which were previously being sold to Savers Inc., a for-profit company.

Dennis Brown, Big Brothers president and chief executive officer, says his organization will probably be able to collect 20 percent more donations in 2003, with Goodwill agreeing to buy all that Big Brothers can supply. To Brown, it’s an opportunity to expand operations and diversify the revenue-generating process by hiring more development staff. Brown says, “One of the things was, we never had a very secure contract. We basically worked year to year. We didn’t have that comfort level, where we felt we could branch out.”

Laura Robertson, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries, says, “We’ll be able to have more choice for our shoppers in our stores and the increased sales are going to translate right back to our programs, so it’s a real win-win for both of our nonprofits.”

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Goodwill Industries of Hawaii plans to more than double its sales in 2003 from about $3.8 million to $7.8 million. The organization, which sells clothing and other donated items to fund job training and other services, plans this bombastic growth under a new contract just inked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu Inc. Under the contract, Goodwill will buy all of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ donations, which were previously being sold to Savers Inc., a for-profit company.

Dennis Brown, Big Brothers president and chief executive officer, says his organization will probably be able to collect 20 percent more donations in 2003, with Goodwill agreeing to buy all that Big Brothers can supply. To Brown, it’s an opportunity to expand operations and diversify the revenue-generating process by hiring more development staff. Brown says, “One of the things was, we never had a very secure contract. We basically worked year to year. We didn’t have that comfort level, where we felt we could branch out.”

Laura Robertson, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries, says, “We’ll be able to have more choice for our shoppers in our stores and the increased sales are going to translate right back to our programs, so it’s a real win-win for both of our nonprofits.”

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Author:

Kelli Abe Trifonovitch