Mission and money should mix so impact can thrive

There’s this strange and perhaps dated idea that mission and money don’t mix.

I suppose it comes from a time of less transparency, of very black and white lines between nonprofits and for profits. But I find it altogether puzzling today.

I know nonprofits with limited impact, that squander resources. I know for profits that drive with mission, that operate as lean as they can. I know nonprofits that are well funded and not funded at all, for profits of big margins and none. Operating balances and not, regardless of tax status.

With the web today, I trust that in the end, the truer narrative can win out (most times). Call it naive but I’d rather focus on people and organizations that get jobs that matter done the best way.

I care about organizations with a purpose and a mission that goes beyond the narrow interests of those who work there. So I want them to thrive.

That means I want organizations with missions to get really good at making money — earned revenue being my favorite of them all. I want journalism organizations and youth advocacy groups and educational alternatives to think about models that sustain them. I don’t care about their tax status necessarily — that’s a strategy.

To do that, we all must remember that mission orgs are not volunteer orgs. We must pay mission orgs for work they do. And we should be thankful to do so

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