Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Combining the Nonprofit and For-Profit Worlds

The Christian Science Monitor reports that around the world individuals seeking to do good are increasingly using a combination of nonprofit and for-profit entities to accomplish philanthropic goals and make some money at the same time. Often inspired by U.S. "philanthrocapitalists" who have established such entities as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google.org and The Omidyar Network, a self-declared "philanthropic investment firm" founded by eBay's founder and his wife, many charitable efforts in other countries are exploring such combinations.  For example, the article cites Industree Crafts, which is now split into Industree Crafts Foundation, a nonprofit that trains poor artisans in India, and Industree Crafts Private Limited, a for-profit company that apparently sells the goods produced by these artisans.  Such combinations are not without their critics, however, particularly in the exploding area of microfinance, as the article notes



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