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Corporate World vs. Non-Profit World

Basic Motivations

Corporations are mostly motivated by their investors. These investors want at least a reasonable return on their investment, and these returns should be higher than the usual bank interest rate. If the returns are not high enough, investors have direct and indirect methods of replacing ineffective managers for new ones. This “threat” is passed down the corporate chain-of-command as careers are built around managers who can cut costs or increase revenues.

The non-profit world (NPW) includes non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, government agencies, and community action groups. These organizations are motivated more by altruism. They see a need for a certain social action and try to fulfill that need.

The corporate world and NPW need each other. It is the corporate world that keeps the economy running. It also indirectly (through taxes) or directly funds a significant portion of the NPW. This relationship is very symbiotic: the NPW is crucial to keeping civil order such that the corporate world has a forum to conduct business and earn profit for its investors.

Competition

When one corporation seems to have a lot of profit in one of its business units, it is certain there are other corporations wondering how to take some of that profitable business for themselves.

The NPW—generally speaking—reacts to competition differently. If one non-profit organization is doing a reasonable job of providing a certain social action, it is unlikely another organization will try to compete directly against that first organization.

To ensure a better utilization of non-profit resources, a non-profit needs to know what its like-minded “competitors” are up to—and put their resources into more appropriate places. In this way, the NPW achieves efficiencies that the corporate world can only hope for. Consensus will be an excellent vehicle for the NPW to keep informed of each other's activities. And by doing so, they will come to a better understanding of the alliances they can build for the future.

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