We Can Do More Good With a For-Profit Model: The Lesson of Speed - A blog by Olivia Khalili
Olivia Khalili created Cause Capitalism to show businesses how to grow by incorporating a social mission.
I used to consult with nonprofits as part of a firm. What I’m about to write comes from my observations doing this work.
We can do more good and do it more quickly with a for-profit model.
Nonprofits aren’t bad, their model just has some flaws. A nonprofit has two tasks: to serve its cause or constituents and to raise money. A for-profit’s only task is to satisfy its stakeholders. The by-product of doing this well is making money.
A nonprofit doesn’t get to the ‘good’ fast enough. There’s a lot of preparation to get started on fighting the cause or delivering services. Nonprofits paid our firm to tell them how and where to raise money. They paid us to do the research and write the proposals. But they weren’t off the hook for time. They still needed to spend time with us on their programs, budgets and contacts. They still needed to woo grant-makers, find new ways to grab donors’ attention and write follow-up reports. All this time took them away from their mission and the cause they were fighting.