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Heart of Gold

Nonprofits are reaping the rewards of starting for-profit ventures.

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Baltimore's Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity (CHH) is a nonprofit organization that renovates vacant houses and sells them at no-interest mortgage rates to low-income home buyers. This year, the nonprofit's 11 employees will oversee 2,000 local volunteers renovating 11 homes.

But CHH is renovating much more than houses; it's also updating its business model. In June, CHH launched its own for-profit venture called TeamBuilds, where corporate teams pay $7,500 for an all-day team-building session with an organizational development consultant while they work together to rebuild an old house. Amid nail guns and drywall, teams will work out their problems and increase their competitiveness.

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