The old school of thought usually perceived non-profit and for-profit organizations on opposite ends of the spectrum, with little in common. For-profit businesses focus on growing profits by increasing revenues and controlling costs to ultimately increase shareholder value. While on the other hand, non-profit groups promote a cause or help the needy. Their worth is measured in how many are helped or how much good is contributed.
The reality is that nonprofits and for-profits have a lot to offer and learn from each other. Nonprofits would likely do better if more emphasis was placed on operational and financial performance measures and for-profits would make more profit if they focused more on the passion and giving side of the equation.
Such is the theory put forth by Brian Kinahan in “Nonprofits and For-Profits – Different Yet the Same“. It ltakes an indepth look at what profit and non-profit organizations can learn from each other.