Social Entrepreneurship: To for-profit, or not-for-profit, that is the question

Some entrepreneurs are convinced that they must be a not-for-profit organization to have a meaningful impact on a social issue that they are passionate about. But that may not be the case for your startup.

Not-for-profits have and continue to transform our community. A nonprofit, as it is also referred to, is a corporation or association that conducts business for the benefit of the public without shareholders and without a profit motive. There are remarkable local nonprofits dedicated to improving the DFW area that recently made headlines when competing for a $100,000 prize through OneUp the pitch.  

Funding for Nonprofits

Many nonprofits depend on donations as a source of revenue to cover expenses from salaries to rent. When looking at public nonprofits as a group, 24% of total revenues are reportedly from charitable contributions. Federal contracts and grants have also played an important role for funding with 1/3 of revenues from public nonprofits reportedly from these federal sources. If you decide your startup will be structured as a nonprofit, then you most likely enter the competitive field of fundraising and grant writing. The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library located at 1515 Young Street in downtown Dallas also houses a Grants Information Service for the latest information on foundations, grants, proposal writing, fundraising, volunteerism and nonprofit management. 

Social Entrepreneurship

But, a nonprofit is not the only way to have positive social impacts in your community. Social entrepreneurship, cause capitalism, and social mission reflect ways in which for-profit companies aim to address important social issues with practical and sustainable approaches. Incorporating a social mission into your business strategy may give you an edge over competitors with addition benefits of increasing employee moral and motivation as well as consumer preference. Social entrepreneurship is changing the way companies do business, and may be exactly what you are looking for to transform your community if being a nonprofit is not the answer to your business structuring.