Milton Friedman once said “the sole purpose of a business is to generate profits” and many companies still believe this to be true. For-profit corporations have enjoyed and taken advantage of freedoms that will undoubtedly affect future generations, the role of business, and the environment. Even though many companies are turning to CSR to help slow-down the problems they, themselves, aided in creating, these companies are innovating new methods that have a dual purpose: help society and help their profit share. In numerous examples, companies are seen creating more efficient processes that lead to less waste, better use of materials and time, and ultimately higher value to the company. The practices of these organizations and companies that are trying to help is one of the key differences between those adapting to change (for-profits) and those creating the change (non-profits).
Inspiration creates change, innovation, determination, and community. For-profits should look to non-profits for their inspiration. The processes and strategies they employ can be harnessed, modified, and employed within operations to provide social benefit and possibly for profit. These for-profit companies need to look to the not-for-profits more often.
The emergence of non-profit organizations has brought light to many of society’s challenges and has in-turn changed the way many view the world, especially those in the business sector. As one can see, many companies have altered their focus from turning a quick profit to becoming more efficient, environmentally friendly, or involved in some other social problem. The not-for-profit companies provide a voice for public concerns, a vehicle for civic participation, and the foundation of participatory democracy and have been nurtured and catapulted by the uprising of non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations give their participants the ability to create “ripples” through communication, experience, cultivation, and community. The development of these ripples and the innovation needs to be harnessed for success.
Companies are trying to grow their markets, cut costs by a few cents per item, remain competitive, and then finally look into social problems. Once companies are less concerned about how much they make or how they can remain at the top of their respective market and start realizing that others can provide the motivation, then real change can begin to take place by creating more cooperation and solving the bigger problems of the world. Once this partnership becomes more prevalent, the strategies that provide the greatest change and innovation will remain within the non-profit sector.
The change is waiting to be found. You just have to know where to look. I told you where to look. Go find it!
Comments are greatly appreciated. If you’re part of an organization that uses certain strategies that can be adapted or have adapted some strategies, please tell your story and help propel the partnering of for-profits and non-profits.