I know a lot of people who can’t imagine working with nonprofits, and who can blame them? Nonprofits, as a sector, have spotty reputations, starting with that word “nonprofit.” I mean, really? How can you make money serving an organization whose dedicated to poverty?
Well, you and I know that just like businesses are giant money making machines run by corporate raiders, nonprofits aren’t all tiny, grassroot money pits operated by clueless do-gooders.
We also know that in the end, “nonprofit” is an operational paradigm that pushes their surpluses back into the organization, rather than distributing profits to shareholders. I’ve encountered as many flakey, poorly run businesses as I have straight laced, super efficient nonprofits.
That’s why from impact to income, nonprofits consultants can have the best clients. Here’s some reasons why:
- Your nonprofits clients make a difference in what people care about. By extension, you will too. If the event you organize raises $100,000 for a homeless shelter, then you are responsible for helping the homeless, just like their staff.
- You can help lots of causes. As a consultant to nonprofits, you help a wide variety of clients whose missions you can care about, in exactly what you specialize in. Your client’s staff only works with one.
- The nonprofit culture is mission driven. While there is a necessity to maintain a health bottom line (as the saying goes “no money, no mission; no mission, no money), your clients will care about the results they provide their mission recipients. They will look for you to care, too.
- A variety in clients will lead to learning, and motivation. It’s up to you. You can specialize in a mission type, a geographic area, a size of client, or take any client. Even if you specialize in some way, you will encounter differences that will allow you to grow as a person. If, for example, you focus on healthcare, you might work with an oncology (cancer) program one day, and children’s health the next.
- Contrary to rumors, nonprofits can, and do pay… many pretty well. They’re sensitive to the market for your services like anyone else is. Some of the pushback you get is often a concern for putting money directly into mission services, not against your services. So, if you can show how you connect to aiding their mission, you have a higher chance of making them a client.
Oh, and not specific to nonprofits, but for nearly any consultant, you can work around other responsibilities. Child care? Elder care? Part-time job? Full time job? Consulting can work around any of those, if you want it to. Even better, you may also find your nonprofit clients also work irregular hours, which might fit into your schedule, or at least give you a client that understand the other demands on your life.
So don’t just dream about working with nonprofits – do it! It could be some of the most important, better paying wok you do!
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