13 Aug Diversifying for a Sustainable Future
by Lisa Irby
Non-profits typically have three main revenue streams: donations, grants/agreements, and earnings as a result of activities. We’re forever grateful to our loyal donor base – though growing this will continue to be a goal. But in order to better stabilize our income so we can strategically and effectively implement our programs for the benefit of our constituents, Mission UpReach has been diversifying to grow the other two areas of revenue as well.
In 2017 about two thirds of Mission UpReach’s income came from individual donors. Another 10% percent was received from foundations and businesses associated with individuals committed to our mission. And churches made up 20% of the total (some for organized brigades and some for program support). So, in reality, we have been dependent upon the grace of generous hearts that believe in what we are doing.
The Moses Project land has afforded our organization several opportunities for revenue generating activities. We are expanding tilapia operations to make this not only a hands-on technical training, but once in full swing, this area will also produce sustainable income that will set a base for funding mission-focused objectives. We also received our first research grant in conjunction with Tilapia. We will be seeking opportunities to apply for other grants and cooperative agreements.
Likewise, raising chickens at a commercial level illustrates business concepts, will provide earnings to support overhead, and will provide a number of local people with secure jobs. There are four chicken houses (galpones) under construction and nearing completion.
And of course, a Honduran specialty is coffee. The Moses Project contains about 70 acres of coffee plants. The young men are educated in the entire process – from the nursery through to harvest. With plants now reaching maturity, we are in a position to market Mission UpReach coffee to US buyers under the “SUBIDA” label.
These self- sustaining operations are part of Mission UpReach’s long-term strategy of building a solid platform of dependable funding to add to U.S. donations. Together we can have an eternal impact on transforming the culture of Western Honduras and spreading the Gospel.