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Melinda Lewis weighs in on non-profit functioning like for-profit corporations.

Classroom to Capitol

It’s an axiom these days:

Nonprofit organizations should operate ‘more like a business’.

The people/donors/media/policymakers who advise this are seldom very specific about what this corporate approach would really look like for social service agencies.

I mean, it’s not like the for-profit world has a lock on efficiency or ‘good governance’, and certainly many nonprofit organizations can measure their impact on a scale more impressive than most businesses.

I think, too often, this exhortation to ‘run like a business’ is really code for, “we’re uncomfortable with the whole ‘social impact’ thing, and not really sure that we should collectively have a responsibility to [fill in the blank worthy cause], so…can’t you just ‘take care of that yourself’, like a business?”

And my obvious frustration with the ‘wash our hands of this’ approach, aside, this post is about one place where I’ll concede that nonprofits for sure have a lot to…

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