Consumers often distrust mission-driven groups that earn profits. Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock.com
Have you ever wondered who collects the clothes you stuff into that donation drop box in your neighborhood? Chances are, you assumed it was a nonprofit, but that box actually may instead belong to a for-profit social venture. If you don’t know what that means, you’re not alone.
Years ago, just about every organization intent on doing good was a nonprofit. Today, hybrid outfits blend the traditional profit-seeking goals of companies with a social purpose intended to benefit society. Also known as for-profit social enterprises and public-benefit corporations, they can be hard to spot.
As consumer psychologists, we wanted to know what people think of this new type of company.
Some for-profit enterprises make doing good their business. Alexas_Fotos
For-profit social ventures vary widely in terms of how they make money and their business practices.