A few times, yesterday included, I touched on the application (or imposition?) of for-profit business models on non-profit organizations. Should non-profits take the lead from more traditional businesses or are the two models incompatible? In the future, I would like to delve further into this question. But for now, I’d like to raise a more specific one: can and do these two entities meet and talk about one another? In other words, do non-profits have a forum to discuss corporate partnerships and do corporations have one to discuss community outreach?
Enter Companies for Causes, whose aim is just that: bringing together medium-sized local businesses to brainstorm and launch philanthropic endeavours as well as entrepreneurial ones. Essentially, this effort will provide the network and resources for companies to expand their reach (and deepen their impact) in the Greater Washington community. Their first symposium is coming up next Wednesday, October 27. You can see the agenda here, sign up for more info, and check out these interviews:
“There’s never been a coming-together of companies, especially small companies, in our region. Small businesses don’t have a way to band together … and really harness their collective power.”
– Eileen Kessler, President of OmniStudio (Full interview)
“We could target our philanthropy a bit more and, in working together, effectuate change a little more and with greater outcomes.”
– Tom Raffa, CEO of Raffa PC & Catalogue Board member (Full interview)
In the midst of the aforementioned debate, I find it rather awesome that these for-profits are banding together around supporting their local non-profits in the most direct and effective way. I would then ask, what else could we accomplish by focusing on support instead of instruction? On our end, could non-profits uncover new ways to bolster the business community? What networks do we need in order to make that happen?