The purpose of a not for profit organization is to do good, make an impact, improve a community or communities which can manifest itself in numerous ways. We must realize that everyone is a stakeholder in the economy and we all have a vested interest in America performing at its finest whether they are a trader, degree or no degree. Most Americans are tied to capital markets through their retirement or some other vehicle and they are all looking for some sort of insurance. There is doing “good” in the community which directly impacts people’s lives, and there is doing “good” in America which can impact the way for profit businesses are view through the alliances they create.
Relationships of this nature require innovation and a think outside the box mentality; it is the rehabilitation of American business. Why does this relationship require a different approach from the norm? It is because for profit businesses are here to do, you guessed it, make a profit. When approaching a for profit organization for an alliance it is important for the not for profit to ask is how can our NFP organization add value to the for profit company and what benefits is the not for profit going to receive in return.
One of the biggest impacts that for profits in the capital markets, investment banking, venture capitalist, private equity and other forms of business can do is to align with a not for profit and do good. This can be done through loans and ventures where both parties can participate and make an impact on America. Such alliances can do wonders in turning their image around. Imagine a capital market firm or private equity firm working with a not for profit in the area of small business development. What an impact that would make on their image as it is known the types of impact these institutions are doing in turning American businesses around. It’s sad that no one gets the message out that it is better to save some jobs and let some people go than to let the entire company fail and everyone lose their job. Where did we fail in getting the message out.
Image makes money and then more money; if you don’t believe me ask Donald Trump who continues to re-brand himself based on image in my opinion. Many of the firms mentioned continue to make money based on their image and reputation but they pay large amounts of money fighting regulations and proposed regulation based on public perception. Image builds constituencies and constituents provide support for initiatives. If Bank of America wants to raise fees then it needs to build a constituency that will provide support no matter how painful the thought of paying higher fees are. This constituency cannot be perceived as being part of the 1% or political allies. It has to come from the same public who accepts higher milk, and gas prices who understand that businesses are under tremendous challenges. In order for small businesses to receive loans banks must raise the capital from somewhere to move this great economy forward. The focus has to be American and Americans let’s get back to basics.
There are ways that those in the venture capitalist and other financial industries can work with not for profits where those companies can make billions and do “good” for the economy and the community. The problem is no one is thinking outside the box. Carl Icahn has always criticized management for poor performance and complacency and has never feared management leaving when he takes over a company. One of the reasons for Carl’s success is he thinks outside the box. When other venture firms take over a company they are always concern about management retention as oppose to which managers actually provides true value to the firm and which ones came along for the free bonus ride.
The competitive environment we currently face requires that we become more innovative in adding value. Most of all it requires that we learn to develop relationships as our friends in the east and allow synergies to enhance value while strengthening relationships.
We as Americans and businesses do not have to gravitate to the common denominator which is where everyone is and most likely will be the weakest link. Following the crowd can be counter productive and unsustainable. Thinking outside the box sometimes requires both sides coming together, knowing that value can be created, and determining how that value will be created. Anything worth having comes from and investment of time and creativity.
If you are a businesses in the free market looking for ideas on synergism and polishing your image you can contact me though this website or at Frederick@nudcenter.org. Let’s start the conversation, develop the relationships, and get America moving. If it seems like America is falling out of love with you or your industry and you believe this is a relationship that is worth having then do something to make America respect you again.