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Holding Ourselves Accountable: A Comparison of Accountability Mechanisms for Social Enterprises

Sat, November 19, 8:15 to 9:45am, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Yosemite


This paper analyzes and compares the accountability mechanisms of nonprofit organizations and benefit corporations to compare the degree to which each mechanism holds social enterprises accountable for the public benefit mission system-wide. The IRS Form-990 is compared with B-Lab’s B Impact Assessment and each dimension is given a rating, with the total showing that the B Impact Assessment better accounts for the holistic impact of the organization as it works toward the public benefit than the IRS Form-990. However, the public benefit of benefit corporations is not held accountable by the government as nonprofit organizations are through the IRS Form-990.