Charities vs. Businesses: A Double Standard

The following is an excerpt from Buy1GIVE1 Founder Masami Sato’s latest book, Giving Business. It’s available for sale on Amazon.
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It seems like there is a double standard when it comes to charities and businesses. But why is that?

When a charity messes up and loses public trust, it can be catastrophic for the charity. But that often doesn’t seem to be the case with businesses.

Broken promises made by businesses could potentially have far greater and more damaging consequences. So why do we tend to get more disillusioned by the misconduct of charity organizations instead of businesses misconduct?

Perhaps it’s because businesses are seen to be providers of value rather than recipients of goodwill. This mindset isn’t right. Charities are providers of value too. Thus business principles should carry over accordingly.

Take the notion that charities should minimize administrative costs as opposed to businesses investing in their own scalability.  

While we accept that businesses need to invest in their growth, we often do not empower charity organizations to focus on the same.

This perception can lead to many challenges and limitations in the charity world.

We think charities are here to receive donations because they are doing good in the world. But this is also value added to society as a whole. They give us the opportunity to feel great by allowing us to give – they are selling happiness in that way – they are delivering a kind of ‘feel-great’ value to people that you cannot normally buy.

We also automatically think that the primary objective of a business is to make money.

But this isn’t always true: the objective of a business could also be to provide some kind of benefit to people, with money simply being the tool for them to do so.

Isn’t a business then also trying to do the same thing as a charity?

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About Masami Sato

Masami is the founder and CEO of B1G1. Despite being small, she is the guiding light behind almost every project in B1G1, from IT design to project management to guiding the culture! She is also one of the most humble and inspiring people you’ll ever meet.

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