Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Charity Village� NewsWeek: Cover Story-Selling services to survive in the social sector

Charity Village� NewsWeek: Cover Story: "Selling services to survive in the social sector
May 24, 2005
By Louise Chatterton Luchuk

The reality game show Survivor may have just wrapped up for another season, but for most nonprofit organizations, survival is a reality they face everyday. This is particularly true within the social services sector, where government cutbacks and restructured funding practices are creating additional challenges. That's why some innovative organizations are taking a second look at what they are good at and finding new ways to generate revenue.

Take St. Christopher House, an agency that provides services to youth, families, disabled people and seniors in west-Central Toronto. In 2003, the board was facing the reality of closing or reducing programming to meet their budget. Instead of going that route, 'the board asked us to look for other sources of funding,' recalls Odete Nascimento, director of the older adult centre. 'We were good at home support. So, was there a for-profit parallel?' Knowledgeable volunteers and a group of University of Toronto students from the Rotman School of Business explored the feasibility of creating a cleaning business targeted at the growing number of condos and apartments in the King St. West area."

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