People might think the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is exclusively made up of businesses, but we also have a large segment of area nonprofits as active members.
It is important to note that these organizations are businesses in their own right. But rather than investing all of their revenue back into the business, they invest their profits in the community and contribute to our high quality of life, while helping those in need.
Of all the similarities nonprofits share with for-profit businesses, the most obvious is that to be successful, every organization needs a plan. While a business generates its revenue through selling its goods or services, nonprofits raise money through strategic fundraising.
What are donors expecting in today’s environment? More than ever individuals want to know that groups are collaborating to deliver a strong return. Thankfully, across the region, nonprofit leaders are embracing this concept. Time and again we see nonprofit groups working together on joint events, fundraising efforts and delivering services to the community.
Earlier this month, the Naperville Rotary Club hosted another fantastic Soup’s On event that raised funds for four local charities. More than two dozen local businesses stepped up to participate in this worthy event because they know it is an easy and worthwhile way to give back.
During the summer, The Exchange Club and Jaycees produce wonderful events that raise funds for numerous charities, in addition to providing the community with festivities and entertainment. There are innumerable other examples of groups working together, demonstrating that this practice is the norm, not the exception.
For nonprofits, collaboration isn’t just smart and efficient, it is what donors are expecting in today’s environment. When you decide to support a cause, you want to make sure that the dollars are invested in fulfilling the mission, delivering positive outcomes and making a difference.
The chamber is proud to support our nonprofit members by offering dedicated programming to their needs and issues. The chamber’s not-for-profit committee has completed an inspiring body of work over the years.
Rather than viewing each other as competition, the involved organizations have looked at the logistical challenges they face as an industry and rolled their sleeves up to find new and better ways to raise and allocate funds. Without the leaders of these organizations working together, we wouldn’t be able to provide this forum for partnership and best practices.
As cold weather sets in and the holiday season looms around the corner, we should be vividly reminded of those less fortunate who live in our neighborhoods. This time of year can be especially stressful for families struggling in this economic environment. This is an especially good time to begin thinking of ways to contribute or volunteer through collaborative efforts with other area businesses and nonprofits.
The chamber applauds every business that encourages employees to get involved, contribute and give back to the community. It is through the generosity and compassion of these business leaders, and their employees, that our area nonprofits are able to do so much for the neediest among us.
Thank you to everyone who made Soup’s On another tremendous success and for your ongoing contributions to worthy charities. Whether you donate or volunteer, or both, thank you for contributing to the well-being of our community, and making a difference in someone’s life.
Michael A. Evans is the president and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, a 1,500-member business advocacy organization, accredited at the top of its industry by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at 630-544-3382.