What does it mean to be a non-profit?
When describing Archway Communities, I often find myself starting with the words: “We are a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing and related services in Colorado.”
Why do I use the term “non-profit” to describe our organization? What, exactly, does it mean? And does it matter? A definition I like has it that a “non-profit organization is a business that has been granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) because it furthers a social cause and provides a public benefit.” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/non-profitorganization.asp
Note that this definition does not say anything about how the non-profit organization (NPO) should be operated. It does not prohibit an NPO from striving for excellence or using performance metrics to promote desired outcomes. It does not state that NPOs should not work to effectively compete with for-profit organizations. Nor is it written that an NPO should pay its people less than what they could otherwise make in the market. Yet these, and other myths tend to endure and influence how many non-profits operate.
At Archway we are striving for operational excellence every day. We are doing all we can to retain the most talented professionals available in the market. Put simply, we are working hard to provide more and better housing and more and better services to support our communities. If, as you read this, you ask yourself: “What can I do to help?,” well, then perhaps there is place for you at Archway – as an employee, as a volunteer or as a donor.
For more information about Archway Communities, please visit our website: www.archwaycommunities.org