There’s a Burmese man I know in Thailand who ran away from Burma long ago. The country, also called Myanmar, has been in the longest-running civil war for over 60 years. My friend Johny was caught in the crossfire of all this, so he and three of his friends spent days running through the jungle to get to Thailand when he was young. He made it to Bangkok, found a job washing dishes, and worked his way up throughout the years. He started a family and built up his tailoring business in the north of Thailand. He started the company to support his family but also to support the charity he had built up. Johny began his nonprofit organization before starting his business. The business helped leverage the charity, which primarily helps refugee children in Burma get an education, so they have an opportunity to get out of there and start a life.
It was when his charity was in full swing that he chose to start his own business. In many ways, it allowed him to further reach the kind of people that could help the children he was trying to save. He had met many people while working with the nonprofit organization who would later buy custom-fit, tailored suits from him. It worked well on both ends, with each entity helping the other.
Johny deeply cared about these children he was helping, which propelled him to do great things with his business. When you think of a nonprofit organization, thoughts of a charity or religious organization come to mind. However, you can help people in many different ways. You can create a nonprofit to advance education, help with scientific research, sports, music, arts, and even entrepreneurialism.
Here are five reasons why you should consider starting an organization that is not for profit.
1. It Shows Your Goodwill
It’s called strategic philanthropy when you create content that is helpful to your potential customers based on your profession and industry. When you do something selfless, and everyone can see it, they will see you as trustworthy and credible. You’ll get excellent exposure, which will impact your business in positive ways. When you focus on education or philanthropy, you get a chance to share your knowledge and expertise in an educational way. It allows you to penetrate the market differently than your competitors may be doing.
For example, say you have a particular skill that you’ve developed, you can offer up free educational videos and training sessions. It shows you know your stuff and are a source of knowledge in the industry while showing that you care about others; it can work very well within your branding. It is also a powerful way to prove you’re an authority, which is something that pretty much all Fortune 500 companies do, so it is worth trying out for your business.
2. You Can Qualify and Leverage Money in Grants and Funding
You probably don’t have the resources to spend millions on helping people, but you can get help. It’s essential to learn how to leverage OPM (other people’s money). You can use the people in your life to help you help others with their time, money, reach, influence, and platform. Johny would often take people to the Thai village near the Burmese border and show tourists, influencers, videographers, and bloggers. He had no money, but tourists were always willing to let others know about the charity. It made a significant impact on the kind of support they received. I know for myself; I would do various fundraisers to help the kids once Covid hit.
Johny got plenty of free exposure with some famous videographers as well. Even carpenters would seek him out and volunteer to build parts of the school, spending their own money to buy supplies. The charity had no money to give to anybody. They were grassroots. However, if someone had a suit made at Johny’s shop, 10% of the profits would go to the charity. You might not have a lot of resources or funding opportunities, but if it’s meaningful enough, you’ll get all the help you need. For example, if it complements your business, you can qualify for funding opportunities or potentially partner up with a Fortune 500 company.
3. Tax Incentives
When you donate or invest in a nonprofit organization, you will receive varying tax benefits and deductions. For example, in North America, the powers that be offer businesses an opportunity to write off or deduct money dedicated to not-for-profit initiatives.
4. You’re Adding Value to Your Business
When you add a nonprofit component to your business, it can add value to it. If someone is looking to invest in a company, are they going to choose one that has a nonprofit portion of it developed or one that doesn’t? Chances are, they’ll pick that nonprofit business. There are so many avenues that a company can go down and benefit from with the not-for-profit sector.
There will be fewer taxes to pay, and the business is more likely to get exposure and be seen positively in the public’s eyes. Consumers are more aware now, and they like to buy products/services that make them feel good. When you’re supporting a good cause, people will be drawn to your business and brag that they purchased from you and why they feel good about it. Your business will be attractive to consumers and investors.
5. You’re Creating a Legacy
When you start a nonprofit, you create a legacy. Starting a nonprofit organization while committing to philanthropic, educational, or charitable endeavors, your focus will expand beyond making money. You will begin to feel extremely fulfilled when you improve humanity in some way through your business. You have the chance to improve your business and donate money, your knowledge, and resources.
When you create a nonprofit, you will start to think beyond the money you make and take a more profound consideration into the world you’re living in and how to make it better. It allows you to focus on the bigger picture and have long-term goals that have the potential to change many people’s lives.