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Similar to the photo above, non-profits and businesses stand back to back trying to be different from one another, but in the end they have comparable foundations, and are both successful at what they do.

Today, while reading several blogs I subscribe to, most of which have to do with non-profits and philanthropy, I started to explore the profitable side of businesses. It got me thinking about how similar businesses that make money (profitable ones), are to those who don’t make money (non-profits). If we look more closely at the correlation between the foundation of both types of organizations, similarities can be found. The main difference is what each type of business does with their inflow of money.

Most people don’t realize how much a non-profit organization is in fact a business. As a whole, a non-profit has a goal in mind, similar to a profitable business, and in order to achieve this goal there are similar steps needed to be taken. For starters, profitable business needs to be linked to their audience of customers in order to bring profit in. In the case of non-profit, donors need to be pulled into the group to generate money that impacts the goal of the company as a whole.

The next is the marketing comparison. In order to bring in customers and donors. Both of these types of institutions need to have proper marketing procedures in place to grab the attention of their specific audience. Like any other business, a non-profit has to implement interesting content that differentiates them from others. For both regular businesses and non-profits this is vital in becoming successful.

As for the inflow of money, non-profits never hold onto the funds they receive for the company itself, and instead donate all funds earned to their main purpose or focal philanthropy. However, they still find it necessary to implement financial consultants to help them with handling fund inflow. Many regular businesses put in place financial advisers to help supervise their cash assets as well.

There is a common misconception about employment in non-profit organizations. Being a manager in a non-profit is similar to being a manager in a profitable business. Both types of managers need to have the proper skills to supervise those under them, and the projects they are working on.

My final thought on this topic is social media usage for both types of business groups. As time goes on networking and social media tools will become the foundation for non-profit and future businesses. The value of social media often doesn’t receive the credit it deserves. It’s amazing how much of an impact a Twitter account and a blog can have on your organization whether you are a company or an organization searching for common good. Profitable businesses and non-profits should invest their time in social media, not only to link to millions, but to also to be ahead of those associations still living in the past not participating in  technological advancements.