Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Charity Wednesdays - Is it O.K. for Charities to Spend Money to Make Money?

Apple spends 60 cents to make every dollar. And that's considered wildly successfull in the business world. Yet, in order to meet Standard 9 of the BBB's Standards for Charity Accountability, a charity can't spend more than 35 cents on anything other than program delivery.

This blurb in Philanthropy Today illustrates a growing debate in the nonprofit sector. If for-profit businesses are encouraged to invest in their people and infrastructure, instead of putting everything into their products all of the time, why isn't the same true for charities? Apple has great products precisely because of the investment the company makes in itself. Could we actually solve issues, for example, of hunger and povery if charities charged with fighting those ills could invest more in themselves?

What say you?

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