After watching this TED talk by Dan Pallotta I was so relieved that someone had finally verbalized the confusion I had about CBO’s versus for profit businesses. There has always seemed to be this invisible ceiling for so many CBO’s. As we have talked in our Humanics course, the term nonprofit is extremely negative and I believe is just one of the reasons these businesses are doomed from the start. We have labeled and debilitated them from making any type of profit to INVEST. This is exactly what Pallotta is getting at in his TED talk.
I was challenged to think about CBO’s differently than I always have. Pallotta’s five points in the talk are comparing the differences between CBO’s and for profit businesses in the areas of: compensation, marketing, risks, time, and profit. What I took from these was the concept of investing all of these resources. I completely understand why we have always been so hesitant to let CBO’s invest money and are worried about where our money is going. However, I am challenged to let go of that control and TRUST the companies I give to with investing my money. The way our society makes money in every other industry is by investing it and I never thought about transferring that over to the CBO sector. Pallotta also challenges our thinking of overhead in a CBO as a negative thing. I definitely have thought of it as so. Yes, I do not think that all the employees of a CBO should be making six figures. But, Pallotta has made me start to think about who deserves this kind of money. Therefore, I am open to the idea of investing in other areas of the business like marketing and fundraising. The question he asked that stuck out to me most was, “Who cares what the overhead is, if these problems are actually getting solved?” THAT is what our goal is. Fixing these problems.
This idea of investing as well as switching to use the term CBO over nonprofit is going to take a lot of time. However, I am so encouraged to see that the movement is beginning. If we want to see these causes cured we have to do what it takes to get there! This TED talk has caused me to think and question what I have always thought about CBO’s. It excites me to think that there is more hope for the future of CBO’s.