Non-profits, by their very nature, combine the best of small and medium-sized
business thinking and entrepreneurship. Working within limited means, creatively
utilizing resources...there is much they could learn from their private sector cousins.
Which is why I'm strongly recommending anyone in the non-profit arena attend
SOBCon 2013. (Well, that and my friend and colleague Liz Strauss asked me very politely)
An excellent learning forum for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs, SOBCon does feature some non-profit specific content, most notably "Give Back Sunday." However, the conference focuses on how to be a "person-centered" business. Mastermind sessions, networking opportunities with other businesses....non-profits would benefit from the opportunities to drive their mission, integrating both the hard "business" skills with softer, more mission (and person) specific skills.
But ultimately, Chicago non-profits need to immerse themselves and become more business-like. In a realm where resources are stretched, and with an increase
in social ventures in the state, it is becoming increasingly critical that non-profits begin to see themselves in not-quite-so-warm-and-fuzzy terms. (And I've made this point before in my review of The Mission Myth). Non-profits are like any other business despite their unique status in wanting to reach key audiences. SOBCon 2013 is a great opportunity to do so, allowing non-profit attendees to not only bring their unique person-centered approach, but also learn several critical skills that would allow them to better advocate their mission while balancing the day-to-day "business" of staying open.
For more information - and to register - please visit http://sobconchicago13.eventbrite.com/. It may seem a little out of reach for some agencies, but something to consider - is your mission worth it? And if so, wouldn't it be good to share that mission with some potential allies?
Thanks, as always, for reading - if you have comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below. If you would like to reach out to me directly, you can do so either via my Linked In profile (please mention Chicago Now when reaching out) or directly via my web site's contact form.
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