The more I study the education landscape and become familiar with the various grants available from the government, foundations, and other entities, it is amazing how crippling it is to be a for-profit company. It dramatically reduces the funding opportunities available to an organizaton. No matter the nature of the work, it seems these organizations put a big red “X” next to for-profit entities. I know there are funding arms available up here and there like New School Ventures, that will fund both types of organizations, but that is not enough. When for-profit businesses have socially responsible behavior and a mission statement with deep impact, the sky is the limit on what they can accomplish as these companies often have multiple revenue streams and a sense of true entrepreneurship.
What if the funders stopped looking at corporate structure and instead focused on amount and level of impact? What if we totally shifted our mindset around this issue? We would see a large percentage of these philanthropic dollars go much further than they currently do.
If anyone knows of other creative organizations that fund companies with a purpose (both nonprofit and for profit) please share them on this blog.