Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Should Charities Operate Like Businesses?

For a while now, I’ve been interested in getting involved in non-profits where I believe I can add value and really help improve, develop or expand the organization. When I first moved to Chicago, I didn’t know too much about the non-profits in the area, so I decided to create a profile on boardnetusa.org. Through this website, organizations that were looking for additional help from someone with my skill set and background could reach out with potential opportunities to get involved.

About a month later, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the executive director of GlobalYouth for Education & Change. After learning a bit about each others' backgrounds and the goals of the organization, I was very excited about the opportunity to get involved and join the board.  GYEC was founded in 2007, so it’s still a relatively young organization and we tend to view it more as a non-profit start-up because we are facing a lot of the same challenges that young businesses face when they are first starting out. Not only are we looking for sources of funding from high net worth individuals (i.e. angel investors), but we are also reaching out to celebrities, corporations, grants and even the PE/VC community. We also have a fairly large goals and a broad vision, so it’s important for us to prioritize our goals and projects, while really demonstrating measurable accomplishments that can lead to further funding and revenue in order to continue to expand our projects to other countries and expand our reach. Being a board member of GYEC has been a challenging and rewarding experience so far, but I look forward to helping the organization develop its strategic plan and continue to succeed by positively impacting the communities it targets.
It’s also worth noting that yesterday, the WSJ came out with several articles in the Personal Journal section with interesting perspectives on non-profits that I recommend reading if you’re interested in learning more: “Before You Join ThatBoard…” and “Should Charities Operate Like Businesses?”


  1. Great blog. Thank you for sharing this article.