Cre8tive Philanthropy

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Investment and innovation in the for-profit social impact community.

Business and Philanthropy: Integration and Collaboration

Business and philanthropy, when used together in a sentence, usually evokes images of successful business people (Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey) who are well-known philanthropists or stodgy corporate giving programs created more in the name of marketing and promotion than serious goodwill and intention to give back. Business and business people have generally been stereotyped as individualists with somewhat blind ambition toward singular goals, typically profit and production – not philanthropy.

That’s changing. Many of today’s business professionals have more altruistic purposes, for both work and life. They strive to contribute their time, energy, and skills in creating better communities. In step with this natural evolution and synthesis of passions and skills, the next generation of business owners and professionals are keen to have impact in all areas of their lives, and see little distinction between what have traditionally been separated as  business and philanthropic spheres.

What better place to look for this shift than the demand for social entrepreneurship and philanthropic courses at university business schools in graduate and undergraduate programs. A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek highlights the growing interest in these programs. 

Nonprofits and philanthropy may have, at one time, been viewed as quite different from business. However, purpose and mission are only a matter of viewpoint and execution. Rather than separation and alienation based upon profit/nonprofit, perhaps the viewpoint of integration and collaboration is in order. This leads to the concept that there may be a wide spectrum between pure purpose and pure profit, with everything in-between.  The wisdom lies in application; what problem is being solved? What is the best way to solve it?

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Filed under: Giving, Innovation, Philanthropy, Uncategorized

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