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Nonprofits have potential to fully develop as companies using startup techniques

Nonprofit organizations have the potential to develop to the fullest, increasing their social contribution, if they incorporate successful and innovative business strategies that use startups, said Attorney Olvin Valentín, executive director of the Nonprofit Institute, which offers education in administrative and business skills to these types of organizations.

“For too long, nonprofit organizations have been seen as entities that work voluntarily, who are in charge of social work where there is no capital or money to run projects, and where everything is developed in a community and organic way,” he said.

“Although all this has some truth, the reality is that for an organization to be successful, business principles must be applied, strategies must be applied, planning, thinking about the future, developing action plans and seeking to make the organization sustainable,” Valentín said.

The importance of nonprofit organizations was evidenced in the aid they provided to communities after Hurricane María and which were essential for Puerto Rico.

One of the limitations these organizations faced, however, is the dependence on government contributions or philanthropic foundations to survive, which in times of economic crisis does not make them sustainable and threatens their vital social work, he said.

“We propose a platform of a plan based on four pillars: sustainability, people, mission and innovation. Applying this in concrete plans, organizations can reach the next level,” said Valentín, who will present this proposal in the workshop entitled “(Re) thinking the Third Sector: Toward a new business model” which will take place Jan. 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Sila Calderón Foundation’s Center for Puerto Rico in Río Piedras.

The workshop will present business concepts that startups and entrepreneurs use, such as: business model canvas, the user person to define who receives the services, innovation matrix, and the pitch deck, which exposes the business model and is ideal for managers looking for how to finance the organization.

“There are many ways to generate income for a social enterprise. There are administrators of these organizations who, for example, think that all services have to be free, which is not true,” Valentín said.

“If we observe trends in nonprofit organizations management around the world, we can see interesting models that have been successful,” he said.

Valentín noted that it is important to lead organizations to innovation, to use technology and techniques that emerging companies use to make the entity economically sustainable to fulfill their social mission much better.
For information about the upcoming workshop, visit EventBrite or the Nonprofit Institute’s Facebook page.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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