Clearly it is much easier to begin a business as a for profit model. Once established you can concentrate on the income and expand from there. I know this because I have been running a for profit business for over 18 years. Don’t get me wrong though, I am all for profit in a business model designed for it. Our entire free market system thrives on profit. In fact non-profit doesn't mean you cannot make profit or that the business model does not make money. It basically means all profits are placed back into the business. Also for-profit models push companies to compete and give the most value for the dollar when monopolies are not in play. Unfortuantely this can also be not so good for consumers when businesses compete to such a level that the final service or product becomes inferior due to cutting corners just to undercut the others.
The non-profit business model was chosen for multiple reasons. First and foremost we wanted to remove the desire to make personal financial profit from the whole venture. Why?... Well by removing the personal financial profit variable we remove the idea of “how much can I make for me” variable. We wanted the business to be about people and not about the money to be blunt. People are people and when money is a goal sometimes the best decisions are not made in the best interest of those who use the services or products produced.
Second, the 501c3 status requires a continuous relationship with people. Donors, contributors, volunteers, and even paid staff should maintain a tight knit group with similar core values. MARTiAL YOU needs to be a community oriented center that is involved and maintains those relationships with all who contribute. Running a charitable business can be hard work and forces you to keep most relationships alive, unlike profit business models which allow short term memory to occur after something is paid for.
I believe that creating a non-profit / 501c3 training center is the best opportunity to keep fees at an absolute minimum. With fundraising activities, donor support, grant funding and revenues generated by gear sales, we hope to keep martial arts accessible to our community. Throughout the process we will be calling upon all those willing and able to make this community training center a reality. Every aspect of this business outline will need attention by those skilled individuals willing to volunteer time.