Family Over Business, is Bamrec a Nonprofit?
One of the very common questions that we got at Bamrec, especially earlier on, was “is Bamrec a nonprofit organization?” By now you’ve probably realized that the answer to this question is No. The reason that Bamrec isn’t a nonprofit organization is because we don’t want to depend on donations to run our operations. We want to give quality service and create a sustainable model that can be planted into any community. With nonprofit organizations volunteering is a common resource. And as admirable and honorable as volunteering is, we don’t accept any volunteer work for a few reasons.
Volunteers can’t be held as accountable as employees. When a volunteer shows up late, you can’t hold him or her accountable for that. They’re essentially donating their spare time to your organization. With an employee, tardiness isn’t part of the program because they’re being compensated to conduct themselves in a professional manner which includes punctuality.
You can’t put volunteers through extensive training(s). While training is suitable for anyone looking to make a difference, learn, and grow - volunteers are more likely to leave the organization due to other priorities in their life that may arise. Employees, statistically, stick around longer and therefore it makes more sense to invest quality training into them.
Just because we have volunteers here, doesn’t mean we can find the same quality and quantity elsewhere. The Bay Area is blessed with a strong Muslim community where folks step up to the forefront when volunteering is needed. If we plan on creating a model that is implementable in communities all around the country and world (yes, we’ve actually gotten international interest from Saudi, Turkey, and others) then we can’t build a primarily volunteer based organization.
Despite the aforementioned emphasis on Bamrec being and operating as a business and not a nonprofit organization, that does not mean we place profit margins over parents’ happiness. Simply put, we place family over business. For those whose children attended the first summer camps - they know our chant oh too well where the kids scream out “We’re Family! We’re Family! Baaaaamrec!” - That isn’t just a nursery rhyme to get the children’s attention when we need it. It’s a deeply rooted philosophy we operate our business by. As important as it is to have profitable streams of revenue, we would never secure it at the expense of our family’s happiness. This philosophy has paid off and contributed immensely to the growth of the organization as it’s curated a group of dozens of families that express loyalty and long term patronage.
Perhaps Bamrec is a one-of-a-kind organization that operates, structurally, like a for profit business but radiates warmth like a nonprofit.