A Parrot With A Purpose: Why Most Companies Should Consider Becoming Nonprofits

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Photo by Bill Gates via Gatesnotes

The state matters

First of all, it’s clear that the state matters. Both 9/11 and later The Financial Crisis (2007–08) reminded us that the state has a meaningful role to play. Regulation, oversight and security remain important.

Nonprofits are growing

That we need to lessen our focus on business is even clearer when we consider the nonprofits.

A parrot with a purpose

One of the ironies at play is the idea of “the social enterprise” and having a higher “purpose” for businesses. From a helicopter’s perspective it’s puzzling. It’s a mixed system in which you’re running a for-profit company with a higher mission.

Nonprofit as a competitive advantage

A good example of how a nonprofit can be highly competitive is German global engineering and electronics company Bosch. The company is running for a foundation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Who’s innovative now?

A nonprofit can be more than a brutal competitor in the market. If we focus on the innovation aspect of things, nonprofits are in many ways more innovative, doing more ground-breaking things than for-profits.

Bill Gates inspecting a toilet on a field trip in Africa. Innovation in compostable toilets is a focus area for his foundation because it’s one of the most effective way to improve public health in the poorest countries.

And The Four Horsemen?

We need to remember this. Business isn’t everything. The nonprofit sector is growing, and in many ways the nonprofit model is a better and more competitive model than the for-profit.

Co-founder of Wichmann/Schmidt. Digital creative and strategist. Author of "Leth and boredom". http://jonathanwichmann.com

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