Non-profits run like businesses

Arizona’s non-profits have a history of being grass-roots organizations that stem from heartfelt motivation and passionate missions. But strong emotional ties to a particular mission can push finances to the background.

That’s changing.

As non-profits become more affected by business trends, from a volatile stock market to inconsistent government funding, some are pursuing outside business-planning services to help them increase their financial sustainability.

Alexis Walker, chief executive officer of the Volunteer Center of Maricopa County, recognizes the need for balance as non-profits retain the passion behind their missions while strengthening business practices.

"Non-profits have always had missions, long before the for-profits," Walker said. "The non-profit culture has already affected the private sector in this regard. Now, it’s time for the non-profits to learn from the for-profits and enter the cold, hard world to sustain themselves but, of course, without losing their soul."

Kristin Park
Special for The Republic

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