Monday Buzz: Why Business Principles Still Apply to Nonprofits

Don’t forget that associations are still corporations despite their nonprofit status. Also: How a major oil trade group used a Super Bowl ad to generate buzz.

Business principles should apply to all organizations, even those with a 501(c) status.

In a new article, Association Success contributor Cecilia Sepp encourages associations to not let preconceived notions of their nonprofit status prevent them from applying business best practices.

“I recently heard a board member state, ‘After all, it’s not like we are running a business. We are running an association,’” writes Sepp. “This is a reflection of many misconceptions about the variety of 501(c) corporations since many people confuse ‘charity’ with ‘association.’”

Sepp goes on to write, “While both for-profit and nonprofit businesses have boards of directors, one area that differs dramatically from our for-profit brethren is that many people we work with are volunteering their time rather than being paid or receiving stock options or dividends.”

No matter the case, Sepp says to look to your board members to use their business skills to help your organization achieve its goals. As Sepp points out, “… we must always remember that the business side must be strong because with no margin, there is no mission.”

Check out the rest of her post here.

Rethinking Oil

Who knew an ad about oil could feel so rebellious?

Last night during the Super Bowl, the American Petroleum Institute (API) ran a much-talked about ad extolling the ubiquity of oil beyond its use as an energy source, Business Insider reports.

The opening line? “This ain’t your daddy’s oil.”

The commercial showed off the use of oil in paint, makeup, and technology in colorful and somewhat edgy imagery. API wants the ad to reframe the ways that consumers think about oil. However, some online critics complained that the spot glossed over the dangers of global warming.

In a press release, API explained its approach toward the campaign: “Our campaign will continue to raise awareness about the role natural gas and oil has in economic growth, job creation, environmental stewardship and national security. And there’s no better opportunity to launch this new campaign than during today’s Super Bowl in the energy capital of Houston, and in front of the largest audience possible.”

Reaching the right people: Association Marketer tells us how to target qualified leads on social media.

SEO infrastructure: Tanzen wants to know if your user experience design is hurting your SEO efforts.

Turn lurkers into joiners: Every online community has lurkers. The Feverbee blog suggests a few ways to get them engaged.


Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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