Finding Hidden and Sustainable Opportunities in Tough Times

Submitted by: Whitney R. White, Managing Partner and CEO, Franklin Global Group, LLC

In today’s volatile economic conditions, it’s no wonder companies are in search of new and innovative ways to not only grow their businesses, but more importantly, maintain current market share while negotiating public policy, public opinion and global competitors.

I have enjoyed a career as a Senior Government Official, Investment Banker, Non-Profit Executive and Current business owner, with the combination of all disciplines providing an informational matrix that caused an epiphany some 18 years after the beginning of said journey.

The idea is a hybrid approach to private and Non-Profit sector business development. Federal, State and local Governments often have a tough time distributing contracts to large, mid, small cap and non-profit companies very capable of servicing public policy initiatives.

Who’s served? Businesses in distress or those with distressed divisions in need of a shot in the arm, and Non-Profit entities looking to secure sustainable revenue streams and public entities looking for policy supports.

What’s needed is an approach that identifies public policy needs and marries specific business goals and non-profit missions with those policy needs.

Why?  Non-profits struggle to find new grant opportunities in an environment with decreased corporate giving and increased grants awarded requiring benchmark compliance, often times lacking the resources, capital and/or expertise to enter into contracting markets that may prove beneficial. Corporate interests will find new domestic and international emerging markets embedded in niche partnerships with non-profits by targeting specific policies and serving as a support to those policies while increasing marketshare.

How is this accomplished? Traditionally Private and Non-profit interests only met at the corporate giving level. What we practice for clients is the next level beyond pure giving; I have branded it a “policy driven development partnership” (PDP). “PDPs” consist of a partnership in which the non-profit is the prime contractor of sorts, with the for-profit partner serving as the subcontractor.

“PDPs” match business interests and goals with public policy initiatives and provide those interests as social solutions. Distressed companies or distressed corporate divisions involved in a “PDP”, may solicit contracts, as a self-sustainable, market driven way of providing community services and has the possibility of providing the following to both entities:

  1. For-Profit may enjoy tax write-offs via partnerships with non-profit;
  2. For-Profit opens an entirely new market, thus jump starting a dormant or struggling division;
  3. Non-profits have the ability to bid on particular contracts usually not open to for-profit entities. Conservative estimates, has this market capped at $20 billion dollars annually, with only $2 billion realized.
  4. Non-profit receives a sustainable revenue stream via the expertise and corporate backing that effectively supports the bid, secured contract and subsequent management of contracts;
  5. Both entities via partnership will provide workforce and community development policy supports to g