free assessment

Earned Income

Why Is It So Important?

To the modern customer, the line between for-profit and not-for-profit is all but disappearing. 501(c)(3)'s must operate with the same rigor and polish as the for-profit businesses they compete against for the customers disposable income. Smart organizations are diversifying their revenue portfolio through the addition of earned income revenue streams such as merchandise, ticket, sponsorship, and consulting sales. 

Think you can't charge a fee for access to what's happening your organization? Think again. Almost every organization has a core value proposition that can translate to sellable content, and often with relatively few adjustments to business processes and marketing. I have helped organizations develop content and experiences that sell from small publications to branded merchandise and executive training earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. 

How I Execute


I will review your operations to determine the best opportunities for earned income revenue streams. Then, I drill down to provide product specifics including fulfillment logistics, pricing, and a sales and marketing plan. Many revenue streams can be quickly launched with little to no upfront investment. 

Research Support


A deep dive into funding models including the opportunity for earned income revenue. Many links to organizational examples and research including significant contributions by the Bridgespan Group.


MY favorite examples

DC Central Kitchen runs both rehabilitation centers and operates a profitable catering company. This article outlines the set-up. 



Homeboy Industries offers both a host of services for former gang members and social enterprises. 



charity:water provides clean drinking water around the world and offers an outstanding co-branded product line in their online store.

Example Projects

City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Cityteam Reprieve

Cityteam Good Eats

Cityteam Workshop