Re-posted from www.nytimes.com
Pierre M. Omidyar and Peter B. Lewis are in many ways opposites. Mr. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is shy, soft-spoken and formal, while Mr. Lewis, who made Progressive Insurance into the powerhouse it is today, bluntly speaks his mind and revels in stopping people midsentence by taking off his prosthetic leg during meetings.
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is also a philanthropist.
But as philanthropists, both are handing out human resources advice along with the money they give to nonprofit groups, a strategy that underscores concerns by donors and even some organizations’ leaders about the management of nonprofits.
“Pretty early on, I realized that when I asked these organizations about management, the response I usually got was, ‘That’s business and we’re not a business,’ ” Mr. Lewis said. “I told them baseball teams have managers, too, but that seemed to have little impact on their opinion.”
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