Everyone Needs a Greater Purpose (Even Companies)

Jul 15, 2010 9:10 AM ET

Alice Korngold's Blog

"Why do business people on nonprofit boards make decisions they'd never make on behalf of their companies?" This was one of the intriguing questions from the audience this evening when Matthew Bishop interviewed Nancy Lublin at the 92nd Street Y. Lublin is the CEO of DO Something, founder of Dress for Success, and author of Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business. Bishop is the American Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief, The Economist, author of Philanthrocapitalism, and proponent of wealthy business people "redirecting the talents and techniques that made them rich toward doing good."

"Because in business, it's straightforward. The customer is also the payer," explained Lublin. "In nonprofits, it's sometimes difficult for board members to understand that the customer and the payer are two different people. And the payers--the funders, are not necessarily in touch with what the customers want and need. That makes it tricky to know what to measure and confusing for board decision-making." This is one of the fundamental issues that I see business people struggle with when they first join nonprofit boards; this is why board training and coaching are so important.

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Korngold Consulting LLC assists corporations in building fully integrated, high-impact CSR strategies, including leadership development through nonprofit board service.  Korngold Consulting trains and places business executives on nonprofit boards, and consults to nonprofit boards and leaders to strengthen governance for financial and strategic success.