|| Print ||
|Articles - May 2014|
|Monday, April 28, 2014|
Page 5 of 5
V. Cautionary tales
A key assumption behind impact investing and social ventures is that business and nonprofits can harness the power of the market for social benefit. From the nonprofit perspective, market-oriented initiatives can also help shore up a shaky business model. “The nonprofit model is a very running-by-the-seat-of-your-pants proposition, because it does rely on charitable goodwill toward your mission,” says Jim White, executive director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon. For years nonprofits have pursued so-called “earned revenue” strategies — setting up affiliated stores or cafes, for example — to help sustain operations, he says. But those efforts can go awry. The recent implosion of Evergreen International Airlines in McMinnville is a case in point. “Things got a little too blended,” White says. At issue was whether the company’s affiliated nonprofit enterprises, including the Evergreen Air and Space museum, deserved its property-tax exemption — especially since the museum’s water park is the star attraction. The Oregon Department of Justice also investigated possible mingling of funds between the for-profit aviation wing and the nonprofit entities, which is prohibited under Oregon law.
The legal restrictions on nonprofits complicate the evolution of blended models. Fueled by new technologies, such models could also pose a new threat to cash-strapped nonprofits. The rise of crowdfunding, for example, allows people to donate to private businesses as if they were a charitable organization. “What’s unique about these kinds of events is there is no return on investment,” White says. Instead, “people are looking at these businesses as a community asset.” He raises an intriguing question: In the future will nonprofits have to compete with social-enterprise startups for donor dollars?
Elements of the nonprofit sector “can’t and shouldn’t be monetized,” White says. “There are people economics leaves behind in our society; that’s the reality.” Looking ahead, he anticipates “confusion and probably court testing” around hybrid organizations. Despite the unknowns, the fourth sector holds powerful promise. As White observes: “It’s a fascinating topic.”
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Oregon's first generation of food entrepreneurs created a brand based on quality and craftsmanship. Can the second generation sustain it?
Friday, November 20, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS AND MARY FAULKNER
It’s been a volatile year in equities and heading into the holiday season, it doesn’t look like these market extremes will dissipate.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Raye Miles, a 17-year taxi industry veteran, lacked the foresight to anticipate the single biggest trend in the cab business: breaking the law.
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Friday, October 30, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
This is a story about a small plastics company in wine country now exporting more than one million feet — 260 miles worth — of tubing to China every month.
|The Love Boat|
|The Food Pod Grows Up|
|The High Road|
|Tinker, Tailor, Portland Maker|
|The Shift to Community Health Care|
|The Harder They Fall|
|Another chapter to the Bezos/Musk space race story|
|Thanksgiving travel: Fuel costs low, terrorism anxiety high|
|Costco chicken salad linked to E. coli case in Washington|
|Nestle comes clean about benefitting from slave labor|
|Enormous drugmaker emerges from Pfizer, Allergan deal|
|Startups joining lobbying game|
|Merchants complain as Square goes public|
Economic diversity has proven a smart strategy for the Port of Hood River. How can other Oregon communities replicate the model?
Phone, Internet needs of small community school districts earn attention of top-five telecom provider.
Farmland LP grows its vision for organic farming in Oregon.
The Salem Convention Center has capped its tenth anniversary year by earning the prestigious “Best of the Best 2015” award from NW Meetings & Events magazine. Selected as the Best Convention/Conference Venue in Oregon by meeting and event planners from Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the Salem Convention Center ranked above the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Art Museum.
The Oregon Cooperative Hall of Fame honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the successful building and operation of Oregon agricultural cooperatives.
Health insurer reports $10.2 million in net income after taxes through the first nine months of 2015.