Let’s be very clear: the advancement of your mission rests on the sustainability of your nonprofit. All too often, nonprofit organizations fall into an antiquated way of thinking—that since their intentions are pure, taking a cue from successful businesses somehow compromises their mission, or that borrowing from “capitalist” business principles is at odds with running a nonprofit.
At the same time, for-profit businesses are increasingly seeking out ways to integrate and align incentives to ensure that they are contributing to the good of the world. Today’s progressive leaders, especially in younger generations, are rejecting the old notion that the only objective of business is to maximize profits, and the rise of corporate social responsibility and B Corps reflects that. In a recent Deloitte Millennials survey, almost 40% of respondents stated that the goal of business should be to “improve society”, “enhance livelihoods”, and “improve/protect the environment”, in contrast to 24% who say the priority should be to generate profit. An earlier study by the Intelligence Group similarly found that 64% of millennials said it was a priority for them to make the world a better place.
That begs the question: if for-profit business can borrow from a nonprofit mindset, why can’t we borrow from theirs?
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