This past Saturday, @hjbarraza asked us on twitter: “Which one is your favourite nonprofit to ‪#socent story?”

So I decided to write a short blog post about one of my favorites, ThinkImpact. I do have a personal bias towards them since I had the opportunity to go to Rwanda with them last summer as a scholar in their Innovation Institute.

ThinkImpact is an organization founded in 2002 by, then college student, Saul Garlick. In the beginning, its mission was to simply build schools in South Africa, but has since evolved into social entrepreneurship program in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana. In what’s now called the Innovation Institute, American college students, graduate students and young professionals live in these countries for a summer partnering with local community members to develop social enterprises.

ThinkImpact began as a traditional nonprofit, but as their model evolved, being a nonprofit hindered growth and limited their impact on the ground. This forced them to think hard about making a change. Additionally, as a social entrepreneurship program, they recognized the importance of practicing what they preach. In the end, ThinkImpact decided to become a for-profit organization. However, the decision to become for-profit was not an easy one, and you can read more about the process of deciding in this recent 2-part New York Times Blog post linked below:

PART I: A Social Entrepreneur’s Quandary: Nonprofit or For-Profit?

PART II: A Social Entrepreneur Transforms a Nonprofit Into a Profit-Making Enterprise