The Extent to Which Non-Profit Organizations Launch Their Profit-Making Enterprises
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In the fall of 1991, I interned at the McKercher Rehabilitation Center (MRC) in Kalamazoo. The purpose of this internship was to do my Senior Individualized Project (SIP) as a graduation requirement at Kalamazoo College. MRC is a non-profit institution which provides employment for mentally impaired adults. The goals of MRC program are to help its mentally handicapped clients progress to their maximum physical, mental, emotional, social, vocational, and economic potential. To accomplish this, MRC conducts workshops which focus on developing vocational skills by working on production tasks. Some of these tasks include sorting mail in the mailing department and packaging in the corrugated department. MRC' s corrugated business, alongside with its counterparts, subassembly and mailing services, contribute to almost 24 % of its total revenues. The majority of MRC's revenues come from foundations, charitable funds from United Way, and grants from the Kalamazoo County Human Services. By launching into business activities, MRC can be self-sufficient and does not depend entirely on foundations and donations to support its regular operations. Thus, MRC is typical example of a successful non-profit organization that realizes the need to expand its revenue base through its profit making ventures in mailing and corrugated business. Part I of my Work Experience Senior Individualized Project (WESIP) addresses the major characteristics of non-profit organizations which explain their existence in a market economy. In addition, this section will focus on the evaluation of those non-profit organizations that launch their profit making activities in order to survive in today's hostile economic conditions. Part II of my WESIP was written for the employer on the marketing plan for the expansion of the corrugated business. This includes recommendations to increase advertising and incentive to be more aggressive in prospecting new businesses, as well as to expand more product lines.
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