Here’s a framework that attempts to differentiate charities, social enterprises, traditional (for profit) businesses along a spectrum.

On one end, creating social value. In the middle, achieving social impact alongside financial return. On the other end, creating financial value.

  1. Purely charitable funding from grants, donations and endowments
  2. Additional market-based revenue stream
  3. Potentially self-sustaining, >75% market revenues
  4. All profits reinvested in the business
  5. Mission driven for profit enterprise
  6. CSR and corporate philanthropy
  7. Pure profit orientation

1 (Charity)… 4 (Social Enterprise)… 7 (Traditional businesses)