The reason we have non-profits

I’ve been asked a lot about my non-profit: why a non-profit? Why not a different entity?
Too often I think people miss the point—including the ones building non-profits. So I want to share with you what I wrote in PrivateID (my non-profit) to explain the nature of this entity:

The reason we have non-profits is because we don’t know how to solve some problems — otherwise we would’ve solved them already. That’s why we’re here, because there’s a problem we need to solve and there are no valid solutions…yet.
The truth is we don’t have the answers. So what we need to do is experiment, put on the scientific hat and apply a series of steps until the problem goes away.
This might not work, and it’s an uncomfortable problem to solve, but we’re willing to fail over and over until we get a solution.

That, IMHO, is what a non-profit is supposed to be about. There’s a problem (usually a social one) without solution. And the non-profit is there to solve it, looking outside money to fund the path towards the solution.