If I Was Running A Company…Nonprofit Business

Last week, I discuss how a job seeker can join the world of nonprofits.  Now, I’m here to tell what to expect of going into nonprofits.

What Nonprofits Do:

If you want to get into nonprofits, understand their biggest strength: storytelling.  Nonprofits are there to send a message to an audience.  Nonprofits bring an emotional attachment that the person can either donate money, volunteer, or spend more time on the subject.  If there is no attachment, there will be no cause and no nonprofit.  That is why it is important what makes you tick and how to utilize your skills for “good.”


You know the deal that nonprofits don’t pay as much and work for long hours.  There are two reason why salaries are low.  One is funding for salaries since most come of the salary comes from the government and there are restrictions on how to spend that money.  The other reason salaries are low is your organization is spending a lot on benefits from healthcare, retirement, life insurance, and others to make up for the salary and let you have close to security in the future.


I would like to call the nonprofiteers the “Moneyballers” of an organization.  Although nonprofits do not have the resources like the private sector has, nonprofiteers are very clever and know how to maximize with little.  This article from Harvard Business Publishing tells exactly how nonprofits use their resources.

The key player:

Although storytelling and emotional content can bring people together, the most important person in nonprofits is the fundraiser.  The fundraiser can have many faces within a nonprofit: it has a face (or voice) people recognize, a salesperson who cares about the cause, and a super salesperson/networker.  The first two is easy to identify if done properly, but the last one is like the Angel of Death.  It is the one person that you don’t want to see, but it is willing to protect you.  In this case, the fundraiser’s sole objective is to raise money by any means necessary.  Storytelling might bring people to watch a mural, but the fundraiser drives the nonprofits to monetary success.

This brings to the overall point about working for nonprofits currently is strictly business.  Don’t get me wrong, there are going to be business aspects anywhere you go, including nonprofits, but nonprofits need to pick their spots.  What business does for nonprofits is give them structure, but it is also the nonprofits job to keep the focus on their cause and storytelling, but the both can overlap at times.

In the two posts I wrote about nonprofits the past couple weeks, one thing that stands out is work that you care for.  That is why I mention to job seekers to find three organizations/causes you want to work for.  If you don’t have any purpose of what you’re working, then what’s the point of job searching and vice versa for the employees working in nonprofits?

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