The Charity Model is Broken
It is very easy as a charity to spend most of your time, money and resources raising money. And, for most communities, the pool of money available for charity is largely fixed year over year. In other words, raising money for a new non profit from a local charitable pool usually ends up taking money from other local charities - many of whom are doing great work in line with our core mission.
Additionally, when the social issues you're tackling are most prominent, it's relatively easy to raise money to address them. However, if your organization makes a real difference and those issues fade behind other more pressing issues, it becomes very difficult to get funding to maintain the progress you've made. This is very true of the work we do.
Applying for grants and other government funding is also fraught with challenges. It requires enormous continuous effort. And, as politicians come and go, so do the contracts and funds.
The Work We Do Creates Real Economic Value
When we help communities reduce violence, a number of virtuous cycles start operating. As people begin to feel safer, local commerce increases, investors start investing locally, local social services become more effective and the neighborhoods become more desirable. We've seen neighborhoods change as we do our work. We've seen developers, businesses and investors start to come into these neighborhoods as they change.
As a Business, We Can Have More Impact
As a for profit business, we can capture private investment funds. By being self-sustaining, we can have a bigger impact and spend less time raising money. We want to create a model that can scale, that doesn't depend on charitable giving, that doesn't take limited resources from the local community and that allows us to continue our work in our communities indefinitely.