Portland-based Ecotrust spun off for-profit subsidiary Point 97 this month.
Point 97, a marine consultancy and software tools firm, had drawn interest from potential clients outside Ecotrust's mission area of the Northwest. Its commercial opportunities seemed to stretch beyond the non-profit's charter. The "heft of the work" meant a team of Ecotrust employees were devoted full-time to the marine consulting business, said Astrid Scholz, Ecotrust's president.
Nationally, the non-profit sector has become adept at launching these sorts of hybrids and conversions. Sometimes non-profits spin off a for-profit business because of its growth potential, or for tax purposes, or to protect the non-profit's tax-exempt status. Non-profit hospitals have spun off insurers, for-profit companies have created charitable arms and environmental non-profits have launched green-business enterprises.
Read more at OregonLive.com.