Non-profit should be non-existent – the term, not the type of organization. The time is right to insist on a term that focuses on the investment, risk taking, and entrepreneurial imagination that have always been so essential to organizations that serve the social good. ‘Social-profit oganization’ is a term that can better capture the contribution made by entities that have too long been known as charities or non-profit groups.
Such a term would also give us a new way to name the people who support organizations that promote the public good: social investors … Today’s social investors seek and expect a return on their efforts, in the form of an increase in the greater good.
George H Heyman Jr Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, New York University. This is part of a longer opinion piece that appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on 26 July 2007.