By Joe Horn
Personal and community resilience education is at the heart of MOS’s mission. We also believe that role modeling is one of the most effective educational techniques that we as educators can employ. It makes sense, then, that MOS should role model the kind of resilience we teach. We believe that incorporating and managing MOS as an L3C for-profit hybrid organization is the best way that MOS can model resilience.
So why does being a for-profit hybrid organization make MOS and the community in which we serve more resilient?
- By state law as a for-profit, MOS pays its taxes. That money helps the community by “pitching in” for public services--from snow removal to the school system.
- With fewer levels of management, being a for-profit allows MOS faculty and staff to respond more nimbly to challenges and opportunities we may encounter.
- By being a for-profit and seeking investors to support our venture, MOS is actively changing how investors view the return they receive on those investments. MOS offers a blended social, ecological, and economic return on investments (see image to the right). Being an L3C makes us legally obligated to do our mission-related work.
- By incorporating as a for-profit L3C, MOS’s entire business model is an educational tool that demonstrates that business can be a source of profound good in the world--this challenges the very way business defines “profit.”
- Lastly, being for-profit keeps us true to our goal of not competing with existing resources in Maine by taking us out of the running for grants and donors that nonprofits may be competing for.
Let's look at an example from the outdoors. Red and white breasted nuthatches are two separate species which are both quite at home foraging for food up and down the trunks of trees in our northern forests. They compete for the same pool of food resources on the same part of the tree and as a result, I have rarely seen them both in the same locality. On the other hand, chickadees eat the same food as the nuthatches but prefer to forage on the fine branches and twigs of those same trees. This difference of habit means that I have seen chickadees peacefully coexisting on the same trees as nuthatches, adding to both the beauty and diversity of a copse of trees.
I like to think of MOS as a chickadee. What do you think?
Please reach out to us if you have any questions!