For a new start-up determining its organizational structure, one might ask, “Do you care more about your mission or making money?” believing that mission-driven organizations must fall into the non-profit camp, while profit driven organizations prioritize cash flow above all else. As we see in the growing Impact Economy, this dichotomy is breaking down. After all, when demand on government safety net services is increasing while foundation and government funds are in decline, one must ask the question: What is the role of our marketplace in driving social change?
Each year, thousands of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, investors, government leaders, and more gather to discuss the intersection of “money and meaning” at Social Capital Markets annual conference. Social entrepreneurs are finding ways to uplift people out of poverty and fight other social and environmental problems with for-profit solutions. They are searching for “impact investors” to fund their growth. These entrepreneurs have both impact and financial goals, and arguably work faster and more efficiently than non-profit models, which are still of course needed for charitable causes.
Everyday, LifeCity encounters for-profits who have a deep commitment to their mission, and non-profits who are rigorous in searching for self-sustaining financial solutions. We believe as a company ourselves that you can do good and make money – but it is not that straight forward. As you see in the below videos, we must be rigorous in measuring impact and in an international world, that impact must be contextualized by the community being served.