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Charities Should Resist Drinking the 'Kool-Aid’ of Business Superiority
Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy  ·  Sept. 16, 2012  ·  Excerpt

Many nonprofit leaders, donors, policy makers, and others are increasingly looking, starry-eyed, to business and markets to solve social problems.

But in so doing, they run the risk of dismissing the importance of nonprofits—and diminishing the value of organizations that seek to make a difference without the potential conflicts that come with the profit motive.

The problem is widespread, and the rhetoric seems to be everywhere, from the trade press to the mainstream media, including online and print publications that reach the most influential people in America.

While some hybrid organizations that blend social and business goals may do tremendous good, the rush to embrace the idea that for-profits can more easily combat our toughest social problems denies the reality that many crucial objectives simply cannot be accomplished while generating a financial return.

The laudable push for companies to commit more energy to dealing with social problems while pursuing profit should not obscure the need for strong independent nonprofits that focus on mission, not profit. And while nonprofits can learn from companies and companies can learn from nonprofits, it is a mistake to erase boundaries or deny differences.

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Our take
The commentary above is illustrative of the changing role of nonprofit organizations in the national economy and in culture more broadly. And while it's certainly true that both the corporate world and nonprofits could likely learn some things from each other, it's also true that they serve distinctly different missions and purposes.

Is there anything your organization can learn from corporate business practices? Compass Pointe can help answer these and other questions:

  • How do my organizations processes, standards and practices compare to those of the wider nonprofit industry? What about for-profit best practices?
  • What partnerships are possible with those in my local business community? How do the charitable efforts of companies align with my organization's mission?
  • Contact Compass Pointe now

 

 
 
       
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