Don’t Shun For-Profit Best Practices


I have a significant number of friends who work in the nonprofit industry. And while I’ve mentioned before that my full-time gig has been in the for-profit world, I think most of the nonprofit work I do is a direct result of impeccable best practices that I’ve learned from my for-profit employers.


When you’re bringing in new talent, don’t automatically go for the candidate who has a slew of nonprofit experience over the candidate with lots of corporate experience.


Veteran for-profit organizations have tried and true practices. There are a lot of for-profit organizations in a variety of industries whose business practices have withstood the test of time. Downed economies, technology changes and consumer prioritization shifts have played a significant role in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, and those companies who’ve come out on top clearly have a few things working for them.


Financial concerns are hitting industries of all kinds. The general consumer is more finance-conscious than consumers past. Penny pinching practices, belt tightening tactics and the most economical uses of resources are things organizations and businesses of all kinds should be focusing on (and idea sharing about).


Corporations can afford to have firms do their dirty work. Projects I’ve worked on for improvement in corporate practices are complex. But the best part about having a corporate budget to bounce off of? Hiring a firm to do all the heavy lifting. Interviewing subjects, designing proposals and developing a plan for rollout were mostly done by an expert firm. But the work and all of its value is something I was able to fully absorb and understand as a project team member. Now, I not only use those skills in my full-time work, but also as a board member and volunteer for other organizations I work with.


The lines between for-profit and nonprofit business practices in financial management, communications, talent management and organizational structure are becoming more blurred each and every day. Follow great companies and figure out how to incorporate some of their best practices into your business practices each day.