A portion of the profits will be donated to various charities, but this isn't a non-profit and will have employees with decent salaries. There seems to be a lot of potential for that to be a turn-off for customers. If any of you have had this type of experience, how did you handle the PR? Do you have any advice for someone engaging on this type of an entrepreneurial venture?
I don't see a contradiction between philanthropy and getting paid a fair salary for the work you perform. Talent always needs to be compensated, lack of talent will eventually reflect in poor philanthropic results so I don't see an issue there. I am intrigued by the way you present the question because you say the main appeal of the business, is the philanthropic angle itself. If you achieve results and offer a service that caters to a real need, your customers will be willing to pay towards efficient delivery. One word of advice: be straightforward in the way you present your structure, if you hope to masquerade your intention to be profitable with clever PR you are likely to lose your customers' trust.