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Innovation In the Business of Nonprofit Sustainability Close-up: Fan Free Clinic

On April 22, 2014, ConnectVA is hosting Innovation in the Business of Nonprofit Sustainability in collaboration with Organizational Solutions and Southside Community Partners. The event is generously sponsored by Flashpoint Fund

The full-day event will feature the Fan Free Clinic in “What’s Working? Scaling-up for Sustainability: Success Stories from the Field”, where we’ll explore their innovative successes in nonprofit sustainability through intimate conversations with the collaborative partners — staff, funders, capacity builders, and consultants — that made these efforts possible. 

    Learn more and register here.

    What does innovation in the business of nonprofit sustainability mean to the Fan Free Clinic?

    Innovation in the business of nonprofit sustainability is more than just ?having enough funds? to continually operate.  It means thinking creatively and strategically on a regular basis about the big picture of who we are and why we continue to exist as an organization and then translating that into: 

    • how we provide quality services efficiently and effectively,
    • refining and communicating the value we bring to the community
    • engaging service partners, alliances and financial supporters in our mission
    • measuring, evaluating, analyzing and reporting our impact

    How does the Fan Free Clinic continue to keep itself thinking creatively as it relates to sustainability?

    Our leadership made a decision to forgo a traditional strategic plan and instead created a plan to become a ?strategic organization.?  This document guides the creation of key processes throughout the organization to reach excellence in all aspects of our work with sustainability as the ultimate outcome of the plan.

    3 things people should know about the Fan Free Clinic

    • We have strong leadership including a fully engaged board
    • We are well on our way to sustainability and have just started an endowment fund, which the agency has never achieved before in its 46 year history
    • We provide quality services and have the data to demonstrate the impact of our outcomes


    Fan Free Clinic faced some significant funding challenges resulting from a perfect storm of events –the on-boarding of a new executive director, underperformance of the development program, cuts in two historically large steady grants, loss of rental income and the expansion of services too quickly.  The organization leadership worked diligently to closely analyze all operations and programs through the lens of the finances to further understand weaknesses, explore options for correction, and strategize solutions both short-term and long term. 

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