Starting Out? Why a Non-Profit Practice Is NOT the Right Answer for You

This post was published at, and has been shared by the APHA Blog.

It is provided so you can find it in a search here at myAPHA.org, but you'll need to link to the original post to read it in its entirety.

Link to the original full length post.


Starting Out? Why a Non-Profit Practice Is NOT the Right Answer for You

This is a question – or a statement – I hear frequently from those who wish to be independent health or patient advocates who are considering which business formation they need to set up to be independent.* After considerations of LLCs, or S-Corps or others, they tell me they want to establish a non-profit, then ask me if we offer resources to help them. Fay is one such advocate wannabe. She asked, “Do you have any advice for establishing a non-profit or not-for-profit agency to help patients?” Unfortunately, her question was being asked for the wrong reasons. Why? When asked why they think a non-profit is the right answer for them, I hear a handful of replies: “So many people need help but can’t afford to pay for help. Establishing a non-profit would mean I don’t have to charge them.”  (A fair statement – and a solid answer, but requires a follow-up – see below.) “I have only ever done advocacy as a volunteer, so I want to keep doing it that way.” (Also a fair statement, but not helpful to this advocate – see below.) Fay’s reply to me was the one I hear most often: “I hate asking for money, so if I set up a non-profit, I won’t have to.” (A fair assessment of ask-for-money fears, but a ridiculous overall statement about business formation.) The point being… almost every advocate-wannabe who asks about setting up a not-for-profit organization believes that will mean she can deliver advocacy services at no cost to the patient. She may also believe, then, that she can continue doing advocacy work as a volunteer – because she will still get paid by the non-profit organization. The problem is, those who think a non-profit is the cure to the “asking for money” aspects of business, haven’t yet thought of this question:  Where will the non-profit organization get ITS money? The leap not made is that a non-profit is just as much a business as a profit-making business is. Both require business skills; both require asking for money. Here’s Where Fay Went Wrong To begin…


 

0
  You may also like:
  • No related posts found.