nonprofit consulting zone blog

You’ll never make money from a nonprofit if you’re this

You’ll never make money from a nonprofit if you’re this.

If you’re a commodity, then from your client’s point of view, it really doesn’t matter who she or he goes to. You’re sugar. And when you get down to it, whether it’s the store brand or a “premium” brand, sugar is sugar is sugar. To their taste, they’re both as sweet.

Don’t feel bad. At some level, we’re all commodities – in a business sense, that is. You could probably name at least a few people or businesses that do what you do for nonprofits. Most business can. That’s just competition, but it doesn’t mean you’re a commodity. What’s the best way you can tell if you’re a commodity? You compete on price, alone.

Maybe the best example of an industry that knows it’s commoditized is car insurance. Just watch their commercials. They know that in the end, insurance is pretty much all of the same. While the average consumer really doesn’t know what “good” insurance is, they know is what a good price is (or so they think.) Insurance companies know this, too, and they know that competing on price alone is a death-spiral to insolvency.

What a commodity to do? Maybe give a nod to price, just to assure their customers, but then double down on perception. Today you could buy the lizard, tomorrow go with the flo, and next week enroll at insurance U.  When all you have to offer is price, you have to make yourself stand out in the minds of your customers, even if how you stand out is meaningless.

The good news is that while we know that our nonprofit clients are price sensitive, you don’t need to compete solely on price. If you do, you’ll end up miserable, and they’ll get a poor product from you or the person who undercut you to work for nothing. You have an obligation to yourself, and to them, to show them the real difference between you and your competition. You need to prove that price alone isn’t a reason to buy.

I’m sure you’re relieved to discover that this doesn’t mean making up fictional characters or pretend to sell boxes of something that can’t be boxed, or walking through the hallowed halls of an non-existant school. You offer a real difference between what you sell and what your competition does. You offer a service in a special way, with results that are as unique as you, and them. Show samples. Show results. Show you understand their mission almost as well as they do.

If you prove your difference, can you charge the stars and the moon for what you offer? Probably not. Can you get a fair price? Yeah, you can.

So before you bury your sorrow in a sack of sweets, remember you are only a commodity if you don’t let your clients know you aren’t… and they’ll be happy to know that there’s a real difference!


Today’s tip was great, but to really move you, your business and your dreams ahead, you need more than a great idea. You need a coordinated strategy, and a mentor to help you make it all happen.

Take the next step, right now. Schedule a free 30 minute strategy session. Let’s talk about a custom plan, using proven methods, tailored to you, so you can Free Your Dreams, for Good!

Have a great consulting day!


        Matt Hugg



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Matt Hugg

Matt Hugg is the president of Nonprofit.Courses.

See his bio here.

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