Thursday, June 27, 2013

Social Entrepreneurship - The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong

Non-profits have been on my mind a lot lately.

TGA's new charitable arm, the TGA Sports Foundation, recently received a significant grant that we're using to hire a management team and build the organization, so we're in full-out startup mode right now.

I have also been going through an awesome program by the Annenberg Foundation called Alchemy Leadership Seminar, which I highly recommend for anyone in Southern California who is the ED or Board Chair of a non-profit.

One of the most influential and informative things I've come across is a TED Talk by Dan Pallotta, whose views have played a significant role in shaping my (and many others) view of the non-profit world.

Social entrepreneurship is becoming it's own category, to the degree that my alma mater, USC's Marshall School of Business, has developed a specific program around it.  In the golf industry, many junior programs are non-profits (for good reason) and I encourage anyone reading this who is associated with or thinking of starting a non-profit to spend 20 minutes watching this video.  The comments about compensation, marketing and overhead are contrarian to the way most people think of non-profits but make a lot of sense within the context of sustainability and entrepreneurship, which are keys to success for any organization regardless of IRS status.

My favorite line is this:

"You want to make $50 million selling violent video games to kids, go for it and we'll put you on the cover of Wired Magazine.  But if you want to make half a million dollars curing kids of malaria, you're considered a parasite yourself."

Hope you enjoy.

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