The quest for sustainability and new sources of revenue has led many nonprofits to consider social enterprise, generally defined as mission-related businesses that have promise for producing income benefiting the nonprofit’s clients or enhancing its ability to fulfill its mission. Simply stated, even nonprofit companies can operate with efficiencies and be focused on a profitable bottom line after expenses.
The social enterprise business model challenges nonprofits to think in a more precise business frame of mind—one that includes a commitment to the nonprofit’s mission, purpose, and growth.
Via has operated as a social enterprise business model since 1994. Via’s three primary earned-income contracts—the HOP, Access-a-Ride, and FlexRide are revenue-generating transportation programs that provide significant financial support to Via’s core mission services. In recent years, Via has expanded into new neighborhood shuttle and on-demand services.
In 2019, Via’s earned income contracts generated more than $1 million in net revenue, which offset the high cost of delivering Via’s founding mission services.
As a nonprofit organization, Via ensures that all profits (net revenue over expenses from the earned-income contracts) are reinvested to enhance our founding mission services, to nurture the well-being of our organization, to reinforce our commitment to the communities we serve, and to make our organization’s vision a reality.
We believe that Via must be concerned with financial sustainability as well as environmental sustainability.