How Not-for-profit Principles Can Empower Business

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Too often, businesses fail to recognize the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience held by their not-for-profit counterparts. Employees within the voluntary sector often do twice the work of a business employee, with fewer resources and limited remuneration. Yet the perception is that not-for-profits are at best beneficiaries of support and are somehow less business savvy, reinforcing a vicious stigma of declining value.

That’s why I’m a big advocate for a shared-language approach to tackling this issue. We need to re-think popular perspectives about “value” by creating a conversation about how good social, environmental and economic concerns can be built into decision-making processes. Read this article to learn what principles businesses can pick up from not-for-profit organizations.

This article first appeared in the May 2011 issue of Canadian Fundraising & Philanthropy magazine and we republished it here with permission.