Ep 143: Should I Start a Non-Profit? with Jessica Kinsey

In your journey of starting your yoga business, you may have asked yourself, “Should I start a nonprofit or for-profit?” There are certain differences between running a yoga non-profit and a yoga business for-profit, and certain things to consider that can help you decide which would be a better fit for your aims and goals. Jessica Kinsey is an expert in the area of nonprofits and social enterprises, and has some insights to share.

Jessica Kinsey is the Founder, CEO and Social Impact Strategist at Prodigy & Co, a company dedicated to helping impact-driven organizations create business strategies that will help them achieve their mission. A serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies, Jessica now partners with non-profit and for-profit organizations to help them develop their services, expand their reach, scale their impact, and build sustainable revenue streams. 

Some yoga teachers want to start a nonprofit because they don’t want to take people’s money or market themselves. Jessica explains why sales and marketing are still essential parts of a non-profit organization, and some of the key differences you need to consider in structuring your yoga organization. She also shares ideas on how to get more donations, and ways to make the biggest positive impact on your community, whether you have a for-profit business or non-profit organization.

This episode is a great listen for anyone who is interested in starting a non-profit yoga organization, or if you’re just looking for ideas on how to better serve your community while running a sustainable business.

Key Takeaways:

[5:03] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Jessica Kinsey.

[7:12] What does Jessica do?

[8:34] Jessica also works with for-profits to help them figure out how to build social good into what they’re doing.

“I believe that people who are doing good in the world deserve to do well, and that more money means that you get to do more good.” ~ Jessica Kinsey

[12:29] Jessica and Shannon discuss the situation of yoga teachers wanting to start a nonprofit because they don’t want to take people’s money or market themselves.

[15:55] What are the benefits of having a nonprofit?

“You’re still selling something or asking for money, it’s just in a different kind of way.” ~ Jessica Kinsey

[18:54] Nonprofits need to have a board of directors who do have a significant say in the decisions concerning the organization.

[21:21] Jessica raises a few more considerations when it comes to starting a nonprofit.

[22:53] What are some of the questions Jessica would ask a yoga teacher who is interested in starting a nonprofit?

[26:23] Shannon and Jessica work through a specific example from Shannon’s experience about helping others in need.

[31:12] Two things to keep in mind:
1) The money needs to come from somewhere,
2) The person/organization providing the money is often thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’.

“You still have to get the word out about what you’re doing, whether or not your class is free.” ~Jessica Kinsey

[34:59] What are some questions yoga teachers or yoga studios should ask themselves if they’re thinking of starting a nonprofit?

[37:51] What are some of Jessica’s suggestions for yoga teachers who have a for-profit business and want to give back to the community?

[43:13] How does Jessica recommend that yoga teachers maintain a balance between sustaining their business and themselves vs. giving back to society?

“You’ve got to take care of yourself first and you have to be able to pay your bills and make a living, otherwise you can’t do this work at all.” ~ Jessica Kinsey

[46:46] Get in touch with Jessica via her website, social media or email to find out more about her work.

[48:55] Shannon shares her key takeaways and would love to hear yours!


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training