By Joe Horn
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Hybrid organization? L3C?
Most people are quite familiar with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. On the for-profit side, organizations seek to sell products or services in exchange for money. On the nonprofit side, organizations seek to do social or ecological good--but this often requires financial input in the form of grants or donations in order to do their work.
What if a business could simultaneously have a positive social, ecological, and/or educational impact while still generating revenue independent of grants and donations? What if businesses redefined “profit” as the total impact an organization has--including both the economic and mission impact? We call this “triple bottom line” thinking and a hybrid organization seeks to balance these priorities. This is why we chose to incorporate and manage MOS as a hybrid organization.
MOS is incorporated as an L3C, which is a designation of a type of for-profit organization. As a result, MOS is legally required by the State of Maine to take on a mission that benefits society beyond simply making financial gains.
“Maine Outdoor School’s mission is to serve as an educational catalyst for personal and community resilience in Downeast Maine through the lenses of economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and social equity.”
At MOS, educating about resilience is simply what we do. We feel that MOS’s hybrid structure perfectly demonstrates one facet of community resilience: doing what’s right for the community doesn’t have to derail your business. It just takes inspiration, innovation, and a little dedication.
Have questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to us!