Living and Giving

Blending Forprofit and Nonprofit

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I just joined another excellent discussion on Social Edge.  \”It Doesn\’t Take an MBA–Or Does It?\” discusses how we can combine the strengths of liberal arts students (passion and contribution) with the strengths of business students (resources and expertise) to create a social entrepreneur.  Here were my thoughts in response:

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Thank you for a wonderful position towards both a strategic and a compassionate mindset. I would say that that holistic view is something we are already moving quite steadily towards. The biggest question recent graduates ask companies is what they do to help the community. Even if they go work for a forprofit, they want to know what is being done to help, and the positive footprint being created.

I would also say most people aren\’t so polarized anymore. I come from both a forprofit and nonprofit background; I hope, that I do think \’both ways.\’ It is, true, a balancing act. We have to switch back between profitability and mission; between efficiency and compassion.

But companies are doing this by adhering to a bottom line, and, producing positive products for the community. And it\’s not just for companies producing sustainable wind power or other benevolent products. For example, Pepsi is committing to improve the health of its products, with target dates for reducing sugar and sodium, and offering healthier alternative products. They are reinventing themselves, regearing towards the marketplace, towards health. They have self-opted out of providing softdrinks in schools and will be removing the drinks themselves. An inspiring shift!

Pamela Hawley
Founder and CEO