If your goal is to make a community impact through an organization which structure is best, for profit or not for profit? Both structures have their pros and cons. Bob Lupton, founder of non-profit FCS Urban Ministries, lays out the case supporting the need and significance of for profit organizations. According to Lupton, "Only for-profit businesses produce the wealth that truly enables people to thrive. Here's an excerpt from his most recent blog:
"In a strange sort of way, for-profits are cleaner than non-profits. For-profits must produce. Their product must sell, their service must meet a real need, or they will burn through their start-up capital and be out of business. They cannot long exist on unfulfilled promises or failed expectations. But non-profits are different. Their bottom line is evaluated by good accomplished, not money earned. And good accomplished is much harder to measure than monetary gains. Non-profit activities may be measurable – number of meals served, number of clients seen, number of garments distributed – butactivities are hardly the same as outcomes. As a matter of fact, many non-profit activities actually do more harm than good. It is very difficult to gauge when a soup kitchen meal is a survival safety net or dependency deepening subsidy. Thus, non-profits’ stock and trade are meaningless numbers, questionable outcomes and heart-warming stories. You see why I say for-profits are cleaner than non-profits?"
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