What is a not-for-profit (NFP) organization? Generally speaking a NFP describes a type of organization that does not earn profits. All revenue generated or donated to a NFP is used in pursuing the organization’s objectives and keeping it running. In most cases, NFPs are charities or other types of public service organizations.
Over the last few decades and on a global scale, it is fair to say the NFP sector has become a significant market force and an important economic contributor. The NFP space has expanded in influence from both religious and secular roots to support almost every facet of human interaction. From education, health, aged care, sport and recreation, the arts, indigenous affairs, social services, community groups and animal welfare; NFPs play a vital role in society. Its reach extends from the developed world to the third world.
In his acclaimed book Charity Case, author Dan Pallotta said, “the non-profit sector is critical to our dream of changing the world”.
The term “not-for-profit” traditionally aligns itself with a culture of challenges, lack of sophistication in management practices and a constant struggle for sustainability. However, in today’s context, the reality of the NFP space is a market sector redefining itself with professionalism, innovation and most importantly a desire to improve the world. Not surprisingly, aligned with this transformation has been an increase in competition – including dollars, hearts and minds.
Whilst there remains a considerable way to go – there are significant changes occurring in the NFP space on a global scale. Many not-for-profit organizations now understand the importance of “profit for purpose” as a core strategic objective. NFPs are also looking for new ways to do business. For example, social enterprises are emerging as a new way to do business whilst helping the less fortunate. However, arguably the most important trend redefining the NFP space, is a change in community attitude. From Baby Boomers to Next-Gen, people are seeking greater accountability for its support i.e. whilst people are prepared to volunteer or donate in increasing numbers, they demand proof and delivery of tangible results.
Mahatma Gandhi once famously said “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”. In the context of the NFP world this statement is as important today as ever.
In a rapidly changing market, one of the most important vehicles of change is information. Through the sharing of information, NFP organizations have an increased ability to expand reach, communicate and deliver real impact.
ECS has been exploring innovative communications tools in the NFP sector and delivering profound results. Capitalizing on its experience in providing cutting edge retail signage solutions, ECS has developed the ability to assist a wide range of organizations including Not- for-Profits.
An interesting case study is ECS’s recent partnership with Lort Smith, Australia’s largest animal hospital and one of the largest NFPs of its kind in the world. ECS provided signage and information technology to support a new state of the art animal adoption center in Melbourne.
Opened in early 2017, the Lort Smith Adoption Hub established a new paradigm in animal adoption. Cage free; the Adoption Hub is an inviting and interactive space that moves as far away as possible from the “incarcerated” environment of traditional adoption centers.
The Adoption Hub is powered by ECS technology including large screens supporting a wide range of information on the adoption animals, the history of Lort Smith, the extent of Lort Smith’s mission and ways to donate. Stage 2 of the project is set to include video footage covering information on animal health and well-being.
ECS has provided Lort Smith with the ability to change this information seamlessly and instantaneously.
Client feedback over the first 12 months of operation has been extremely positive. Survey data indicates strong support for the unique environment including the transfer of information.
ECS understood Lort Smith’s project objectives. They were then able to provide an innovative and tailored solution that underpins this creative and significant NFP project.
The Not-for-Profit sector is critical to the future of the global community. By connecting more people to worthwhile causes, valuable change can be achieved. The ability to amplify communication increases the audience and spreads key messaging far beyond traditional markets.
ECS has the ability to provide Not-for-Profit organizations (both large and small) with tailored solutions to assist in communicating messaging. In a world where impact has become the benchmark in Not-for-Profit sustainability, ECS can provide the tools to expand reach, communicate and connect with communities in far greater ways than ever before.