More on PolicyMap’s Change to a Benefit Corporation

We’ve just announced our change from a non-profit LLC to a benefit corporation. If you haven’t read it yet, read PolicyMap president Maggie McCullough’s post explaining the changes. Here are some answers to questions you may have.

Why a benefit corporation?

Unlike a traditional C corporation, benefit corporations aren’t required to be profit maximizing. This allows us to maintain our free version, keep our subscriptions priced reasonably, and not add advertising or otherwise monetize our user base. It also lets us add data and features that benefit users that aren’t necessarily our highest paying customers.

What are other examples of benefit corporations?

Other well-known benefit corporations include Patagonia, This American Life, Kickstarter, and King Arthur Flour. (A few years ago, This American Life wrote a good blog post about their transition to a benefit corporation that has many of the same themes as our transition.)

Will PolicyMap still have a free version?

Yes, we are still committed to letting users access our public data and maps without a subscription. Data should be free for everyone. And we’ll continue offering paid subscriptions to users that want additional functionality and proprietary data.

Will I notice anything different?

Today, probably not. Over the next year, we hope to roll out new data, new features, and new content.

What’s your relationship now with Reinvestment Fund?

Reinvestment Fund is currently the sole shareholder of PolicyMap, Inc. We continue to share their vision towards improving communities. More importantly, we’re still friends with everyone there. Most importantly, we will continue attending their annual holiday party.

So, does this mean PolicyMap is hiring?

Very soon we will be posting some new job descriptions. Stay tuned.