New partnership between foundations and MTV angers nonprofits

The New York Times recently wrote about how a new collaboration between MTV and some national foundations has left many nonprofits in the dust.

MTV has begun testing a social networking Web site called that is intended to encourage activism among young people. It has the financial support of four foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Case Foundation.

But the foundations’ alliance with a for-profit venture has upset leaders of several similar nonprofit sites, some of whom have unsuccessfully sought support from the same foundations in the past.

“We have often been told by funders, including some of those announced as underwriters of the Think site, that they don’t fund this kind of work, so it kind of bothered me to hear about this,” said Jennifer Corriero, executive director and co-founder of

Ms. Corriero’s organization is one of the social networking sites MTV studied before setting up Think MTV, and she said she had hoped that a collaboration would develop. “It’s been really challenging for us to attract funds to run our services,” she said. “We were hoping that part of this work with them could enhance our platform and build on what already exists, instead of reinventing the wheel.” More...

Is a foundation's role to build the nonprofit sector or do they have the flexibility to work with for-profit organizations that may have profit related motives but have a much larger reach? Pros/Cons?