In this episode of The Strategic Nonprofit, we have Dr Marat Ressin the founder of YEDI in Toronto to discuss the key elements of starting a not-for-profit. 

We also discuss how to form a 3D vision and the importance of sustainability for Not-For-Profit Organizations. 

In this episode you will learn:

  1. How to create a 3D Vision.
  2. How to align the segments of your Not-For-Profit Organization.
  3. Why you should alter your business model to be self-sufficient
  4. Why relying on external funding isn’t a great idea. 
  5. Why sustainable businesses receive more donations.

Planning the 3D Vision of your Nonprofit

It’s imperative that when beginning any venture, you’re fully aware of your vision. What do you want to achieve? What problem are you looking to solve? How will your society be different because of you? Once you’ve created a blueprint of your intentions, you need to turn your attention to the other segments of your business that will influence your success: Stakeholders, Beneficiaries, Donors, Sponsors and the Government. 

Your goal here is to align what you want to achieve, with what they want to achieve – What problem are they looking to solve? In turn, their problems will become your problems which is why it’s essential to be on the same page and always aware of the bigger picture. A key question to ask yourself when planning your 3-D vision is, do they provide a solution to your target market? – The community you’re trying to help. 

Building Sustainability in a Nonprofit

As we’ve already established, the biggest issue for Not-For-Profits in Canada is financial sustainability. Often, nonprofits are trained to rely on grants and funding from external sources but imagine: If you lose your funding, you lose your organization. So when these sources are no longer available, it causes enormous problems for the operation and ultimately, lets down those you’re trying to help. 

It’s crucial for this reason that you diversify the sources of your funding. Which is why you should consider selling your product or service on the market. Not only does it generate additional revenue, which makes you less dependent on grants and donations – but consider this, paying customers will provide you with strong feedback on your product or service. Beneficiaries, on the other hand, are likely just to be grateful for receiving it for free or discounted. 

For example, YEDI is entirely free for Canadians but charges the market price for international businesses looking to set up in Canada. So ideally, you need to think outside of the box by creating a model that doesn’t rely on external sources. When your business is self-sufficient, only then should you be seeking additional revenue streams in the form of grants and donations.

More About Dr. Marat Ressin

With a 20+ year career in international business and real estate development and has completed his PhD in Economics with a specialization in “small business crisis management,” Dr Marat Ressin has successfully reinvented and rehabilitated over 30 businesses from a variety of industries.

He is the founder of YEDI in Toronto, Ontario and also carries the roles of acting professor, program advisor, manager of partner and investor relations. Dr Marat Ressin is also an instructor at Schulich Executive Education Centre in Toronto, Ontario and Head Professor of the Academic Department in the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow, Russia.

More About YEDI

Ranked ‘#1 Start-up Business Incubator and Accelerator in the world’ for several years by UBI Global, the York Entrepreneurship Development Institue (YEDI) is a charitable institute that provides top-tier business education and mentorship to entrepreneurs. Founded by Dr Marat Ressin, they work with any sector or industry seeking to accelerate successful businesses and not-for-profit organizations. 

Their mission is to provide coaching programs for Not-For-Profit Organizations in being more business savvy and to provide practical knowledge to ensure sustainability which, in turn, ensures they’re less dependent on investments and donations.

About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott, CSP is the Managing Director of AMC NPO Solutions and an authority on Governance. He has over 25 years experience as CEO, President and board director of several not-for-profit organizations. Tom has also spoken in over 20 countries.