The Philanthropic Business Model

June 18, 2007

Why will businesses favor a philanthropic model?  Because human beings, more than anything else want to find a meaning and purpose for their lives.  Before money, material things, fancy cars, and extravagant vacations.  You may not see this now, but you will.  More and more people are.

I don’t mean to overdo the Dan Pink thing again, but he hit the nail on the nead with his his sixth aptitude for the Conceptual Age: MEANING.  He does an excellent job in pointing out why meaning will be so important to the individual, but sooner or later it will move beyond the person and become the next business model of the moment.  The moment?  I think it will stick around for a very long time.  It may change a little, or have new ideas added to it, but it will remain at the core of business. 

I get the distinct impression that Victor Frankl, founder and creater of logotherapy and Auschwitz survivor, is the key figure in influencing Pink in this area.  In fact, I read Man’s Search For Meaning not to long ago and found it a very inspiring read myself.  My sister-in-law has borrowed it so I don’t have it here to reference but Frankl strongly believed that finding meaning in life was of utmost importance, and this belief formed the foundation of logotherapy.

What I’m getting at I guess is that as I see more and more people realizing that they need to find meaning in their lives, businesses will see this as a niche market.  As that niche market moves mainstream, the structure of businesses will have to fundamentally change to meet the needs of the market.

Furthermore, I think that businesses located in the so-called rich countries of the world will see the need more and more in the near future to support the developing world in growing their economies and giving to organizations that are actively attempting to solve large-scale world issues.

All the pieces are in place to support this type of business model; it’s just a matter of time before the market opens it collective eyes enough to support it.

I found this slideshow on slideshare, uploaded by Raimo van der Klein, who has a blog “Marikaya” that really espouses and explains these types of values well.

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