Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some frequently asked questions below. If you have additional questions, please submit them on our Contact page.

1.Is Impact Makers a non-profit organization?

Not in the traditional sense of that phrase. Impact Makers, Inc. is a benefit corporation registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but is not tax-exempt (i.e., Impact Makers pays taxes on any profits prior to distribution to its community non-profit partners). With that said, Impact Makers is structured like a non-profit; specifically, it has a volunteer Board of Directors that has overall management and fiduciary responsibility for the organization. Impact Makers is owned by nonprofit foundations, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia and Virginia Community Capital. In other words, we are operated by and for the community. Our community non-profit partners are chosen based on where we have significant client work – currently Richmond, Virginia and Hartford, Connecticut. 

2.Is Impact Makers a 501(c)3 organization?

No. A “501(c)3” designation simply means a tax-exempt status, and Impact Makers pays taxes like other law-abiding citizens of the community. The 501(c)3 designation refers to a subsection of the United States Internal Revenue Code that lists the type of non-profit organizations exempt from certain federal taxes. Impact Makers is structured like a “not-for-profit” organization, but it pays federal, state, and local taxes. It is similar to not-for-profit organizations that generate revenue and have restrictions on how profits are used (like certain hospitals or trade unions). The corporate charter for Impact Makers dictates that 100 percent of its profits over the life of the company are given to designated charities.

3.What's the difference between non-for-profit and non-profit organizations?

Many people prefer to use one term over the other, but there are no universally accepted definitions for either. Generally, “non-profit” is used to refer to a charity or service organization dedicated to a single human condition or primary mission. Both refer to non-stock corporations (corporations set up without equity ownership) and are run by a Board of Directors.

4.If Impact Makers is structured like a not-for-profit firm, how does it pay staff competitive wages?

Impact Makers operates as any for-profit firm in that it seeks to maximize revenue and minimize expenditures. As such, it can attract top talent by compensating its staff and consultants at market rates. However, unlike a traditional for-profit firm, Impact Makers gives 100 percent of its net profits to charities over the life of the company, after paying salaries, operating expenses, and taxes.

5.Can Impact Makers manipulate profits for personal gain?

An independent, volunteer Board of Directors holds executive leadership accountable for the management of the firm, and they decide how much revenue is held for growth (if any) and how much will be given to our community partners. They also approve executive salaries and bonuses and make all decisions regarding the non-profit organizations with whom we choose to partner.

Impact Makers is revolutionizing the way business is done in Richmond and in the nation’s consulting industry – we have effectively created a foundation in the for-profit marketplace.

6.Who owns Impact Makers?

Although the founders of the company maintain leadership positions, they do not own the firm. Impact Makers is a benefit corporation registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, owned by nonprofit foundations, The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia and Virginia Community Capital.

7.Isn't Impact Makers "socialist" in nature?

The opposite is in fact true. Impact Makers is applying capitalist principles to the non-profit world — we are like a foundation in that we distribute needed resources to Richmond community programs; however, instead of being based on charitable donations, we are competing in the free market and generating economic value. Impact Makers is unique in that the company actually transforms the economic value it creates into social value.

8.What is a Certified B Corp?

Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are unlike traditional businesses because they meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards; meet higher legal accountability standards; and build business constituency for good business. For more information, visit bcorporation.net.

9.Will Impact Makers always meet its pledge to its charitable partners?

Yes. Regardless of our level of profitability, we will still make our minimum pledge to our charitable partners.