Editor, Jason Schaff Obviously you’ve seen the massive report in this issue on local not for profits. It’s something we’ve been planning for several months. I hope that it adds another layer to our coverage of local business news. What do not for profit organizations have to do with business, you may be asking yourself? Actually, everything. Ideally, not for profit organizations provide the social service infrastructure that make communities better – and thus better places to run a business. Also, businesses and not for profit organizations can work together for the betterment of the business, organization and communities as a whole. They can buy services from each other and organizations can provide support for a company’s workers in ways that the company can’t. Another reason why the Business Journal is covering not for profits is that in order for not for profits to be successful, they must be run like a successful business. Many companies and businesspeople support not for profits financially and by volunteering and they want to know that the organizations they support use their money wisely. That’s why we’ve structured the special report in this issue in a way to highlight the efficient and well-run organizations. How did we pick these organizations and individuals to feature in this report? We called for nominations from readers and members of our business community. We received about 200 – a fantastic response. This, I believe, is illustrative of how not for profit organizations are such a vital part of our Valley-area community. We interviewed many of these people (we didn’t get to some because we literally ran out of time. Many nominations came in the last few days). But we vetted everybody. The interview questions probed such areas as how the organization deals with its finances and what its management policies are. We gave the information to an advisory committee made up of businesspeople knowledgeable about the not for profit world. They advised me on who they felt should get the honors. I agreed with most of them but changed some of them and added some new award categories. I’ve gotten heat for some of the changes and additions. But that’s OK with me. That’s my job. With 200 nominations and less than 20 awards, some people will go away unhappy. I just want to say that this truly was a very, very difficult job. There are so many hard-working and effective organizations and individuals locally that we could highlight dozens of groups and individuals and not scratch the surface of who is good. Yes, we honored a few people who have already received zillions of honors, but these people are exemplary illustrations of non-profit supporters and I didn’t feel our report would be a complete report without including them. Our job is to report industries accurately (in this case the industry is not for profits). I come away from our extensive project feeling like the Business Journal has tried to put a focus on a vital segment of our community that holds everything together thus allowing the business community to do its business effectively. Yes, not for profit organizations hold everything together. They are just that—not for profits—they are not in it to make money. They are in it to provide a social service of some kind and to help people. Not that some businesses aren’t in it to help people, not for profit organizations are in it solely to help people. Read Business Journal Reporter Mark Madler’s story in this issue about how not for profit organizations are having to fill the void resulting from city and state budget cuts in California. They are being asked to do some things we would ordinarily expect from the public sector in an ideal world. And an ideal world we don’t have right now. Thanks to all the not for profits who helped us develop this report. You all should get awards. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at email@example.com.
Linking the Business and Non-Profit Worlds