A Nonprofit’s Guide to International Expansion

Nonprofit organisations carry out vital, admirable work all over the world, but when it comes to international expansion they face their own set of opportunities to be grasped, and challenges to be avoided. Here is Galvin International’s guide to the expansion process for nonprofits.

How International Expansion Can Benefit Nonprofits

For businesses, the benefits of a successful expansion include increased market opportunities, a diversified company and, if everything has gone according to plan, increased profits. Although nonprofits operate much like businesses do, their end goal is different – the pursuit of an external goal, often a social or advocacy cause, with excess revenue used to this end instead of being distributed to its members or leaders.

International expansion allows a nonprofit to broaden the scope of its mission and pursue its goal across a much broader canvas. For nonprofit organisations dedicated to tackling issues that exist on a global scale, this can be invaluable. A major international organisation such as Médecins sans Frontieres is able to directly tackle health-related issues at a truly systemic level rather than ameliorating the worst effects of the problem in one locality – and a direct, on-ground insight into these issues is vital to this goal.

The Challenges of Expansion

While the benefits of operating internationally are undeniable, nonprofit organisations still face several potential hurdles to a successful expansion.

As they are not typical, profit-driven organisations, determining the correct legal tax structures that will apply in their new destination can be a difficult and confusing process. In order to operate legally, they may be required to set up entities within their target market, or adopt an employer- leasing model that provides temporary staff on a project-by-project basis.

However, both of these options can be expensive for nonprofits without large amounts of excess revenue at hand to cover the costs. Nonprofits may also find themselves faced with a greater financial burden due to sales tax exemptions not applying overseas.

The nature of the work carried out by international nonprofits may also require them to operate in developing countries, where security can be a concern. The causes they pursue are often of most pressing urgency in regions facing conflict, disaster and political instability, making additional measures to protect their staff a necessity. If these staff are international rather than locally based, they may also be subject to immigration and expat tax rules that the organisation must understand and abide by to remain compliant.

How Galvin International Can Help

Whether you’re a nonprofit organisation dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing issues or a corporation looking to diversify, the international expansion process can seem complex. That’s where Galvin International can help – our international business expansion concierge service walks you through each step of the expansion process, untangling the complexities and creating custom solutions to your organisation’s requirements.

If you’re considering expanding your nonprofit organisation internationally, get in touch to find out how Galvin International can help you to achieve your goals.

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