Frontier works with social sector clients looking to expand and grow their organization strategically.
I. Frontier Social Sector Clients
The organizations in the social sector are often diverse and are primarily privately funded to focus on meeting the needs in areas where government and for-profit sectors don’t touch. These organizations promote community self-reliance, improve quality of life, strengthen democracy, and offer opportunities for personal growth.
The social sector can be thought of as an industry unto itself with its own set of challenges and nuances. This is where Frontier comes in. Frontier services clients globally in areas of healthcare, international development, humanitarian aid, and community organizations.
Social sectors are imperative for economic growth especially to developing countries. Social sector helps create jobs and provide innovative products. However, emerging markets are not the only ones that greatly benefit in this sector. The social sector is a big contributor to the growth of the economy alongside doing a cause that highly benefits the society.
What is the Social Sector?
The social sector is composed of organizations that are not driven by profit, but instead by a mission to help people and add a positive change to the world. The social sector is usually concerned with causes for education, health, and nutrition.
Social sector businesses have a mission to serve humanity. They may be nonprofits, charities or for-profits that create sustainable solutions to address poverty, hunger, and other challenges in both local and international communities.
Many social sector agencies are quite small and operate locally, but there are also renowned global organizations such as the United Way and the Red Cross.
Non-profit organizations as they are called don’t earn profits, instead they receive donations to be able to operate and run for years. They are often funded by donations and grants from individuals, foundations, and companies and use the money they receive to help fund their advocacies.
On the other hand, public sector organizations are run by the government and use public funds to help people in need.
Both of these organizations have the same objectives – to improve society.
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II. Types of Business Ventures for Social Sector Industry
The social sector industry has evolved significantly over the past few years as it became clear to many that making money was not the only purpose for the growth of the economy.
The rise of the internet and social media has helped create awareness for social issues around the world which paved the way for the creation of new fundraising initiatives, tools, and innovative solutions to help those in need. As a result, the number of social entrepreneurs are increasing.
Social entrepreneurship is the use of business methods and tools to solve social problems, through for-profit or non-profit ventures. Social entrepreneurs use their skills and knowledge to create businesses that are both profitable and have a positive social impact. This can mean providing employment opportunities for people living in poverty or giving disadvantaged groups access to services they may otherwise not be able to afford.
The key to their success is a clear understanding of what the market needs and creating a beneficial solution that can be implemented even with limited resources.
With so many different organizations operating in this sphere, it can be hard to keep up with what’s happening and how best to help and spread awareness. Frontier can help entrepreneurs in the social sector to design their own digital branding and digital marketing strategy.
The other challenge our social sector clients often face is building a flourishing business model despite the mission-driven approach to their work. At times, social entrepreneurs can feel the two are at odds with each other, when in fact, in order to make the greatest impact, it is necessary to first have a solid foundation. We work with clients interested in expanding their business growth potential to best focus sometimes limited resources (e.g. budgets, personnel, etc.) in the most impactful way possible.
III. Common Questions in Social Sector Industry
Frontier deals with a few questions from social sector organizations to help them understand how to navigate this industry. Here are a few questions we’ve encountered:
- How do I start a non-profit organization?
- How can I grow my organization?
- What obstacles do social sectors face that can hinder their ability to make an impact?
- Do I really need to build a business if I’m a not-for-profit organization?
- How can I finance my social sector business?
- What social services should I offer?
- How do we prove to investors that we are making an impact?
- What types of metrics are important to capture to prove impact?
- How do you run a non-profit like a for-profit business? Why is that important?
IV. Social Sector Industry Standards
The social sector industry still practices a certain set of standards that should be applied across their organization. Naturally this will change based on the organizational needs of your company, but the following industry standards may be applicable to consider in your case:
- Federal grant networks
- Academic grant networks
- 501(c)3 status
V. Social Sector Industry: Frontier Case Study
Frontier worked with a large NGO to map impact of on-the-ground program volunteers worldwide. We did this through in-person interviews with subjects at each site to understand what needs remained. With this information, we supported this organization in their digital marketing efforts by designing a campaign to target funding and support for specific needs at site-level.