What are our Assets?: Social Entrepreneurs are asking

What are our Assets?

This question about assets is a question about: ‘what do we have that we can leverage to generate earned income (make some money) to support our social mission?’

A balancing act between mission and money objectives faces social entrepreneurs every day. Nonprofits who operate earned income ventures ask operational and management questions that require a balancing act. Nonprofits who are analyzing the feasibility of a new venture ask the same kinds of questions prospectively.

If we reframe the question a bit, we can get down to brass tacks answers.

Our assets = our core competencies

Our core competencies are:

  1. Not WHAT we do, but …
  2. HOW we do it … exceptionally well


The question about assets becomes:

HOW do we do what we do … exceptionally well?

  • Does your staff have specialized knowledge?
  • Have you evolved a database that contains specialized information?
  • Do you operate with a “low-tech” system or process that produces great results for clients?
  • Have you developed “high-tech” software that facilitates that process?
  • Does your organization have a strong social network of volunteers or sponsors that helps you get things done?
  • Does your organization have community recognition for being able to get things done?
  • When somebody says the name of your organization — do people associate that name with the good things you do?

Real Property

Physical assets are usually the easiest to identify … if you OWN real property, such as land, buildings, equipment, vehicles.

But also consider the value of your LEASE on any land, buildings, equipment, or vehicles. You OWN the LEASE. Even a lease is an asset you may be able to leverage to generate earned income to support your social mission.

Intellectual Property

If you produce materials, such as books, manuals, handouts, for use in your programs — those materials are physical assets that you OWN. Such materials are your Intellectual Property. You can protect your ownership of those materials through patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Once protected, these intellectual property assets can be better leveraged to generate earned income to support your social mission.

The Internet

The internet has opened up a whole new world of assets a nonprofit may be able to leverage to generate earned income to support its social mission. If your organization or your venture has a website — you have web assets that can be leveraged. Two things that create value in “web real estate” are: a) number of visitors, and b) number of in-coming links.

Are YOU analyzing the feasibility of a new earned income venture?

Does something in this list present an opportunity for you to generate earned income?

How do YOU determine whether there is a market opportunity there or not?

What other questions does this opportunity raise for you?

Are YOU operating an existing venture?

What items on this list have you revisited lately?

Where do you think you may have an opportunity to push the envelope to increase your earned income level?

When you ponder your opportunities, what further questions arise for you?

SElearninggames has set up a Brain Reaction to help us get at some of our key questions.

You can link over and add your question to the list of questions we are generating.  And rate the questions that others have generated.

We can use this blog to explore our questions in greater depth.


2 Responses to “What are our Assets?: Social Entrepreneurs are asking”

  1. KD Says:

    Hey peeps,

    Since we’re on the topic of social enterprises, I found this really cool competition online for young social entrepreneurs.

    Its run by Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and called the “Global Competition for Young Social Entrepreneurs”.

    We stand to win :
    -a fully-sponsored trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the Young Social Entrepreneurs Forum in December 2007
    -a chance to pitch for funding
    -meeting a network of cool people who share same ideas and values
    -a chance to hook-up with a mentor, AND
    -access to learnings and knowledge from our peers and the experts!

    Visit http://www.globalknowledge.org/ysef07/index.cfm?&menuid=8&parentid=7

  2. alagemeetly Says:

    продам Форд-Фокус 2008 года за 200 тр. торг возможет. срочно!!!
    +7 960 200 9209

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