The importance of earned income as a source of social sector funding is growing: Today, more than half of the average social sector income is generated through a variety of activities within the marketplace, including membership dues, service fees and product sales. Despite some public skepticism about funding sources other than traditional grants and sponsorship, most organizations offer products and services to diversify their income streams.

With increased competition from private enterprises, and the need for reliable forecasting and long-term planning, organizations in the social sector are adopting the best practices of the private sector. Likewise, it is increasingly important to demonstrate a measureable return on investment to external funding sources including foundations, government agencies, and major donors. As both the demand for new funding resources and the need for accountability to external funding providers grows, so too will the requirement for expert knowledge to bridge the gap between the social and private sectors.

Applying its 30 years of experience in the development of revenue and optimization strategies, Simon-Kucher provides innovative solutions tailored to the specific requirements of social sector clients. Our focus combines private-sector best practices with our client’s social objectives. We successfully balance market principles to address sector-specific challenges such as resource scarcity, legal obligations, and institutional culture, to generate value in multiple areas including:

  • Portfolio design and optimization: "Which services can support both our mission and our financial needs?"
  • Earned income and sustainability: "How can we become more financially independent without sacrificing our mission?"
  • Pay for performance: "How can we ensure we are adequately remunerated for the added value we provide?" "How can we differentiate between willingness-to-pay and ability-to-pay?"
  • Value communication: "How can we strengthen our income without reducing our credibility?"
  • Sustainable metrics: "How can performance and ROI be enhanced with social KPIs (e.g. SROI)?"

Simon-Kucher supports social sector organizations, nonprofits, and membership associations on these and other topics to ensure sustainable earned income sources aligned with their charitable mission.

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