Business models and nonprofits : a study on business model proficiency and performance in Norwegian nonprofits
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- Master Thesis 
Due to a change in policy, the nonprofit sector in Norway is set to expand significantly in the years to come. While this is happening, the struggle for resources among nonprofits is intensifying. As a result, nonprofits increasingly orient themselves towards the for-profit markets. One aspect they are adopting from this sector is the business model. Research has shown that firms with effective and innovative business models often outperform their peers, but little research exists in a social setting. This study explores the prevalence and implications of business models in a modern well-fare state. Furthering the literature on the commercialisation of nonprofits, this thesis investigates: Which are the characteristics of business models in the nonprofit sector, how proficient are managers in defining business models, and how is this proficiency related to the performance of nonprofits? Drawing on the literature of business models and nonprofits, a questionnaire was distributed to nonprofits throughout Norway. Respondents from key positions in each organisation described the accomplishment of their social mission, their cost and revenue management, as well as key business model components. The responses indicated a gap between their perceived business model proficiency and their ability to define key components of their business model. Furthermore, the relationship between proficiency and performance revealed no significant correlations. This leads to the conclusion that nonprofits are overconfident in their business model proficiency, or that they simply do not fully understand the concept. The lack of correlation between performance and proficiency is surprising and contradicts the literature. In light of this, future researchers should investigate the relationship between business models and performance in nonprofits more closely.