A modest proposal–that might actually work

This is the most innovative idea I’ve heard to date for modifying the nonprofit model to better suit organizations which aren’t properly “charities” but still serve the public interest.  The conversation has been about theater companies–and I salute Stolen Chair‘s leadership for introducing it–but it would work equally well for the newspaper business, where very little else seems to work.  The Nonprofiteer promptly and shamelessly cribbed the idea for a “Whither journalism?” discussion, and intends to do so again.

H/t to Thomas Cott of “You’ve Cott Mail” for passing along the Artful Manager‘s coverage of this intriguing concept–the first notion in many a day to tempt the Nonprofiteer out of her lair.


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4 Responses to “A modest proposal–that might actually work”

  1. Rich Says:

    what about this? Have you critiqued it yet?


    • Nonprofiteer Says:

      I haven’t addressed L3Cs because I don’t quite understand them–by which I mean, I don’t quite see how making it legal to give money to a profit-making enterprise promotes public purposes. It may be the case that low-profit enterprises will attract people uninterested in no-profit enterprises; but I’d be surprised. And if the point is to provide a sustainable stream of income (from the profits, however low) to the public purposes, that’s identical to the current system of having nonprofits run social enterprises, isn’t it? Except for the tax consequences?

      Sorry–long answer to brief question. My central point is, L3Cs are a tax maneuver, and I rarely understand the implications of tax maneuvers til somebody has gotten away with something I don’t like. So I’m agnostic about the idea til it’s had a chance to play itself out in the real world.

  2. Reads and ideas from this week « the way i see things Says:

    […] Community Supported Theatre Model from Stolen Chair (thanks nonprofiteer for the link) One of my fiercest hopes for the next 20 years: that all this hullabaloo about social […]

  3. Amy Kincaid Says:

    I really love this idea, too, but I don’t see it as a new business model. Nonprofit arts organizations, are community-supported organizations. Already. It’s more of a really brilliant frame or metaphor for much better fan-building/engaged donor-generating fundraising than most arts organizations do. Envious kudos to the Stolen Chair folks for getting important funders to see it as a big innovation, and for getting some money to test it. It’s innovation, alright, but more of a very fresh and useful tweak of good fundraising. Not an entirely new business model for nonprofits.

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