Charities Unlocked – 3 Steps to becoming a Successful “Intrapreneur”

Do you work for a charity? Then you likely know all too well the difficulties the sector is facing, and perhaps you’ve even developed some opinions on how to approach these challenges. You may just have what we like to call an intrapreneurial spirit.

It has been an unstable few years with the uncertainty of Brexit, continued dampening of public trust and numerous looming changes in fundraising regulations. However, it isn’t all bad news. In the face of such uncertainty and turbulence, the opportunity exists to foster some of your organisation’s most valuable resources. And yes, we mean you. Internal champions, or “intrapreneurs”, are the backbone of any charity’s ability to weather the storm of external change. Harnessing the creative power of in-house team members allows charities to increase their entrepreneurial endeavours, increase the potential to create sources of income, and reduce the risks from any venture.

The internal champion takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into an impactful venture though their risk-taking and innovation. It has never been more important than in today’s challenging environment for charities to be creative in revenue generation ideas. This calls upon all members of the team to take on the challenge of proposing new and innovative business and tapping into your inner intrapreneur might just be the answer.

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneurial thinker? Enthusiastic about revenue generating activities but not a top decision maker in a charity?

Here are our top tips for you, our budding intrapreneur, on how to present those brilliant ideas in a transparent and coherent business plan:


1. Identify your charity’s best assets

Have you got amazing brand recognition? A highly skilled co-worker? Organisational expertise? Do you deliver the best of some product or service? Identify these strengths and use them as the basis for your recommendation.

2. Ask “how can these assets be used for commercial opportunity?”

Not all opportunities are created equal. Take a moment to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of each idea and rank these opportunities on investment costs, potential profit, and feasibility.

3. Sketch business plans for the opportunities you’ve identified

Keep in mind your target customers, whether you’re looking at a Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer operation, anticipated investment costs and how quickly these can be recovered.

4. Share your ideas

Your new business plan for potential revenue-generating activities is ready for to be presented to relevant parties. By using this transparent approach, you have easily outlined the benefits and risks for deciding stakeholders.

Not every effort will always be rewarded but after this process, your ideas will have blossomed into strong business plans. Over time, this will help to foster new entrepreneurial endeavours and increase the potential to create new sources of income.



The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC) operates at the intersection of the for- and non-profit worlds, dedicated to helping charities and businesses maximise their social impact. The latest models of social enterprise, revenue generation and social investment, and the integration of skills and expertise from across the public, private and third sector form the basis for our work. 

TSIC’s research, which investigates the relevance of the 2012 TSIC Unlocked tool for the challenges faced in revenue generation for charities today, and progress made since their original 2013 report Charities Unlocked, will be launched this month.


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