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Saturday 23 August 2008

On 10:48 by RT in    No comments

These days, everywhere you look in the social space, it's all about social enterprise rather than charity. Or to put it another way, it's all about financial independence and sustainability rather than dependence on grants and donations.

The question then is how do you go from being a charity that functions through fundraising, into an enterprise that actually monetises services or products; especially when you factor in the charity status restrictions on commercial activity?

Bang Edutainment Logo

This is actually something I'm looking at with Bang Edutainment and I'll try and keep you all updated on what I learn. In essence though the answer is a combination of Business Model Innovation and Organisational Redesign.

Business model innovation is about identifying new ways of monetising your existing services and engaging your target audience, or creating new ones that others aren't offering. Organisational redesign is about restructuring the legal, financial and probably even human structure of your organisation to increase clarity of purpose and ability to deliver different but related services.

When moving towards financial independence for charities, we're essentially talking about monetising existing IP, products or services; and creating linked organisational entities that keep the benefits of being a charity while also allowing commercial activity that can drive profits back into charitable services.

I'll talk a bit more about these as things progress with Bang. We're getting close to business plan stage for some new ideas, and it will tell us if our ideas are viable. If all goes well, I'm hoping to learn some useful stuff for USP too!

For now though, here's some interesting presentations on business model innovation that are relevant regardless of whether you're working in the charity or commercial sectors.

Finally... thanks to those of you who wrote in about this blog, particularly Safs and Katie, who've kept in touch with encouragement all the way. All helps :)

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