What is a Non-Profit?

What Is A Non-Profit by The Startup Garage
Share This

The purpose of a non-profit is to bring together a group of people that share an idea to change the world and that unite under a common goal for the specific change they seek.  Unlike the perception of a non-profit as a hippie volunteer operation, a non-profit business model is a great way to make a living while pursuing your desire to fulfill a need that exists in your community or beyond.

While the term “non-profit” does not reference a specific legal structure, it does signify that your group is working on a mission towards a specific goal rather than simply working towards profit.  Most non-profits will choose to incorporate and become a functioning business, and by filing as a non-profit corporation, the non-profit is eligible for various state and federal tax exemptions because the non-profit is working for a social and community benefit.  In return for the tax breaks, a non-profit has to follow certain organizational guidelines designed to ensure the effective pursuit of the non-profit’s mission, such as having a board of directors.

Significant differences between a traditional corporation and non-profit corporation include the success metrics.  While a profit corporation is successful if it earns a profit, a non-profit is successful if it is accomplishing its mission.  However, financial health is crucial for the non-profit to continue to operate.  As a non-profit generally does not earn revenue through sales, they are particularly dependent on fundraising efforts and grants.  Fundraising consumes a significant amount of time and effort from the non-profit, and demands a marketing and sales skill set amongst the non-profit’s employees.  But rather than selling a traditional product, you are selling your mission.

If a non-profit business model sounds like the best fit for your vision, read through the rest of The Startup Garage’s blog series on Starting a Non-Profit Organization.  We will have a new post every Monday and Wednesday with tons of information on how you can start your own non-profit!


Whether you have a question about Non-Profits, or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!
This entry was posted in Non-Profit and tagged , on by .

About Tyler Jensen

I work with entrepreneurs who are looking to attract investment and get out of the "Garage". I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs start companies that matter. I helped launch over 100 Companies, Non-Profits and Social Enterprises. I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, startup coach & trusted advisor. * Launching New Companies (For Profit, Non-Profit and Social Enterprise) * Expert Business Plan Writer * Extensive Network of Business Relationships focused on Launch & Rapid Growth of New Companies * Startup, Growth, Marketing, Technology, Web, Business Systems * Trusted Advisor to CEO’s & Entrepreneurs * Capital Raising Strategy Development * Startup Team Development The first company I started and sold is VAVi Sport & Social Club which grew to over 25,000 members in six years, was recognized as San Diego’s 30th fastest growing private company in 2006 by the San Diego Business Journal and 32nd fastest in 2007, and sold for over 25X the capital investment.