People in workforce development often think of getting grants and donations as the only way to put more money into their budget. I’m going to share with you two ideas that can add income to your program using other strategies. How much does your organization spend on paper, computers, printing, office supplies, repair of equipment etc? Did you know you could lower your costs considerably by joining with other organizations to purchase these things collectively? Develop a list of supplies and services you need on an annual basis. Combine it with the lists from other organizations to create one master list and put it out to bid to all the businesses that can meet your collective needs. You will be amazed at how much lower your share of the cost can be compared to purchasing these things as one agency. Businesses like big contracts and they will bid competitively to get them. I have seen joint purchasing bring down individual organization costs by 35 to 45%! Imagine having that money back in your budget! This may not work for every organization, but you should consider it if this strategy makes sense for your program.
Do you know that you have expertise that employers will buy? Does your program serve a specific population of job seekers? If so, you have ideas about how employers can motivate them, improve retention and get better performance from this type of employee to increase the profits of their business. If you develop a management training program for employers that doesn’t take a lot of time and can increase profits, you have a product to sell!
I have developed private sector management training for employers that hire youth, people with disabilities, mature workers and immigrants and refugees. I took what I know that works with these populations and put that information into training modules for employers. I market them as a way to improve employee performance and retention in order to add profits to their businesses. I sell this as part of my consulting services for employers.
You can do the same thing with your expertise. You have expertise that can help employees and management. Don’t hesitate to turn into a revenue source for your program. Don’t forget that the money you get from this work does not come with a lot of funding source red tape wrapped around it so you can use it creatively to help your program. If you want help turning your knowledge into a marketable product, I also provide consulting on this topic. This won’t work for every organization, but if you can do it starting earning some revenue for your program now!