A verynice Guide to Non-profit Business Development

Posted by on July 30, 2013 in How-To, Non-Profit, Resources


Something unique about verynice is that we have our feet in both the social/public and private sectors at the exact same time. The implications of this reality is that our work for one type of clientele often inspires our work for another type of clientele. We find ourselves very often coaching non-profits on how to be more “profitable” and, likewise, we find ourselves coaching for-profits on how to be more socially aware. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen small non-profits become forced to close their doors due to a lack of funding sources. I also can’t tell you how often I see start-up non-profit organizations devote 95% of their time to filling out grant applications and asking for money from bystanders. Both of these observations have frustrated me deeply. Far too much time is spent by non-profits looking for money, and far too little time is spent actually creating impact. This is just a reality in the start-up social / public sector. Our goal at verynice is to not only make non-profits look pretty, but also to make them run efficiently. Because of this, we find ourselves drawing out new organizational structures, inventing products with high return rates, and even writing out business plans for young organizations. This guide is dedicated to all of the small organizations out there that are looking for some resources to get them going. It is a small glimpse into our methods for helping non-profit startups think more like Silicon Valley startups. It is important to remember that no matter how different the intentions behind each sector may be, we are all in business, and we all need to succeed. I hope that the first release of our “verynice guide to business development for nonprofits” will inspire a new way of thinking for many young organizations and, as always, we are here to help and to learn. Feel free to get in touch with questions and ideas for future releases of the guide.

Wishing you all the best,
Matt Manos

Matthew Manos

Matthew Manos is a social entrepreneur and business-design theorist that is dedicated to disrupting the way the design industry operates. He is the founder of verynice, and provides strategic leadership for the studio. Matthew’s work and ideas have been published in 100+ print and online venues internationally including The Huffington Post, GOOD, Gestalten, HOW, and Wired Magazine. Matthew speaks regularly at events and institutions across the United States including TEDxCMU, Social Enterprise Alliance, UCLA, WKU, and Pepperdine University. He holds a BA in Design Media Arts from UCLA, and an MFA in Media Design from the Art Center College of Design.

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