Founder Dave Keil Uses Franchise Industry Principles to Help Nonprofits
Franchise For Good, the nonprofit division of Franworth, is all about giving back. Franworth’s for-profit mission is to accelerate franchises’ growth so they reach their full potential, and Franchise For Good, a nonprofit organization itself, was founded two-plus years ago to do the same for its nonprofit-organization clients.
Dave Keil, Franchise For Good founder and president of Franworth, says the United States has some 1.2 million nonprofit organizations in operation. Many of them start with a robust, passion-driven momentum only to stagnate later because of development and scaling problems, he adds. Franchise For Good helps nonprofits sustain growth and prosperity by leveraging the main premise behind franchising, which is to follow a proven system that deploys best practices in areas such as marketing, finance and operations. Franchise For Good can also assist its clients with lead generation.
Inspiration Behind Franchise For Good
By helping nonprofit organizations scale up, Franchise For Good magnifies their impact, Keil says. “After some success as a franchise CEO for four different brands, I dedicated a year to exploring living my life ‘on purpose’ and ensuring I was building a life and legacy of significance. I had seen the many ways franchising gives back – including firsthand how Ben & Jerry’s used Partner Shops – but thought there might be a better way. On a literal walk in the woods in northern Michigan, I was inspired to combine my passion and the tools of franchising to the nonprofit sector.” (Keil’s work history includes stints at Haagen-Dazs Shoppes, Honey Baked Ham, Pure Barre and The Lash Lounge.)
He studied nonprofits in-depth and spoke with nonprofit leaders, which brought awareness “that nonprofits have similar needs as for-profit companies, and that scaling systems would be beneficial. After spending years helping for-profit brands accelerate, my hypothesis was that same toolkits and approach might work for nonprofit companies.”
Nonprofits’ Needs Same as Franchises’
Keil explains that he found strong parallels between for-profit franchises and Franchise For Good’s clients. “Franchise systems at their core are a license of a brand and operating system in return for support and financial consideration. The scaling tools and playbooks that franchise systems have used for decades to create a $900 billion industry are applicable to any system that desires to scale and grow. The needs for a clear strategy, brand essence, budget controls, operational playbooks and lead generation, for example, are the exact same, no matter the industry. Franchising covers 300 different end markets, and I have led companies that range from selling ice cream to eyelashes. So I wondered, ‘Why couldn’t these same tools apply to nonprofits?’”
His research and exploration led him to establish Franchise For Good in April 2020, during some of the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic. “That time, as challenging as it was, was a blessing for the creation of this new business. It gave the team and me time to engage with our first client, and build a new scaling model for what has become BuildStrong Academy,” which trains people for work in construction-industry trades, with the first New Orleans location championed by NFL pro Drew Brees.
Other clients include the University of Notre Dame’s LEO (Lab for Economic Opportunities) program, which helps U.S. nonprofits that focus on decreasing poverty; NOMI Network, which facilitates employment for women and girls as a way of eliminating trafficking in Southeast Asia; US United, which promotes racial unity; and Corner To Corner, which trains Black women in entrepreneurship.
Four Prerequisites for Scaling
Keil says four core elements must be in place before any company is ready to scale:
- A strategic analysis. Through this, companies can identify their market, channel and the people they serve well.
- A clear brand essence with a defined mission, vision and value proposition.
- A clear “offer,” which he defines as what is done, sold and/or served.
- A business plan that defines both budget and resources.
“Without these core elements in place, as companies scale, they will wander from their core and growth is not sustainable,” he says.
How Franchise For Good Operates
Franchise For Good is a 501(C)(3) organization with a formal board and one part-time employee, Keil says. Clients have come to Franchise For Good in three ways so far. “Our first client was a referral from my executive coach. The balance have found us via our website, Frachiseforgood.org, or word-of-mouth,” Keil says.
“My wife and I donate our time to FFG,” he says. “We have engaged Franworth and other third parties like marketers and technical writers, who provide their services to our clients pro bono or at reduced rates. Some clients pay us, and others received services for free.
“We have received tax-deductible donations from people who support us, and my dream is to raise money to accelerate our reach and impact. We seek partners who want to donate financially to help us expand our reach.” To aid Keil and Franchise For Good in their objectives, visit franchiseforgood.org or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.