The Not For Profit Podcast Ep 08: Specialisation with a NFP

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To succeed in a certain niche, you have to be passionate about what you’re doing. You have to be motivated enough to stay in the game. Passion ignites the flame—at least that’s what most people say. And Not for Profits are no exception.

Today, I will be talking to Nic Marchesi—one of the most famous personalities in Australia when it comes to Not for Profits. We will be discussing three main things that he sees necessary in an NFP, namely: 1) Being passionate; 2) Structuring a business to share it with others; and 3) Helping others.

To learn a lot more about NFPs, go ahead and tune in to this episode.

Nic’s Introduction (2:05)

  • Orange Sky is Australia’s first-ever mobile laundry service that started in October 2014.
  • Orange Sky’s initial mission statement was to improve the hygiene standards of people who were having a hard time.
  • Eventually, Orange Sky’s mission statement evolved as they got in touch with the community.
  • Orange Sky’s current mission is to connect communities by sitting down and having great conversations.

The Growth of Orange Sky (3:13)

  • Orange Sky now has 29 vans operating all around Australia.
  • Orange Sky also has two vans in New Zealand.

The Birth of Orange Sky (4:01)

  • Lucas and Nic had the opportunity to see the harsh reality of tough living when they were in high school.
  • After high school, they wanted to find a way to continue helping the community.
  • An encounter with a homeless man named Harry encouraged Orange Sky to go out and help more people.

Getting More People Involved (5:22)

  • Community service providers add value to Orange Sky’s operations.
  • Orange Sky currently has 1800 volunteers in Australia, 200 in New Zealand.
  • Nic says the only reason Orange Sky still exists is because of the generosity of people who are donating to their cause.
  • Orange Sky has a team in Brisbane and all around Australia who do everything from building vans to fundraising and admin support.

Passion (6:53)

  • Everyone who runs an NFP has to have passion. Otherwise no one would do it.
  • Passion aligned with purpose is essential.

An In-depth Look Inside Orange Sky (7:37)

  • Looking back, Nic understands the importance of the decisions they made.
  • The YESes and the NOs were all essential to get them to where they are now.
  • Nic shares their experience when they were starting until they became a company.

Challenges and Solutions (12:51)

  • When Orange Sky just started, Nic and Lucas understood the need to empower more volunteers to operate safely and sustainably.
  • The challenge: No tools, no processes, no software to help Orange Sky achieve their goals.
  • The solution: Creating their own software.
  • The plus factor: Orange Sky now helps organizations with similar challenges making it a revenue stream for their cause.
  • Nic says that challenges are a part of the Orange Sky ecosystem, and it’s something they’ve learned to embrace.
  • From getting machines to work in the back of their vans to supporting people
  • More challenges include branching out into a different country, growing in remote indigenous communities.

The Numbers (17:10)

  • Orange Sky didn’t look at social impact or revenue targets at the beginning.
  • The realization of the financial situation came about with their growth.
  • Having clear objectives gives a sense of direction.
  • Orange Sky has a 26% ROI increase from their previous financial year.
nic marchesi

Who is Nic Marchesi?

Nicholas Marchesi, who they fondly call Nic, is one of the co-founders of one of the biggest NFPs in Australia—Orange Sky. At first glance, you may see it as JUST a mobile laundry service, but it’s the first-ever of its kind. Orange Sky reaches out to the community by helping people who are having a tough time—from making laundry accessible to them to sitting down and having conversations. Orange Sky goes beyond providing basic needs, such as laundry. It touches lives by offering additional support morally and emotionally.

If you’d like to connect with Nic Marchesi, you can reach him through Orange Sky’s website: You can also connect with him through LinkedIn if you wish to learn more about their cause and how you can help.

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