For-Profit Charities

Charities should embrace for-profit business models in order to drive fundraising, or so says Dan Pallotta, author of Uncharitable and founder of the now-defunct Pallotta TeamWorks company; a for-profit organisation that produced many successful fundraising events for nonprofits.

In his column The Sin of Doing Good Deeds, The New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof said:

There’s a broad recognition in much of the aid community that a major rethink is necessary, that groups would be more effective if they borrowed more tools from the business world, and that there is too much “gotcha” scrutiny on overhead rather than on what they actually accomplish. It’s notable that leaders of Oxfam and Save the Children have publicly endorsed the book, and it’s certainly becoming more socially acceptable to note that businesses can also play a powerful role in fighting poverty.

I can think of no good reason why this shouldn’t be so, and no other way charities can attract top business school talent. As Pollotta said, making a difference and making money shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.