Why are Most Nonprofit.Courses Free?
To start, it’s important to know that Nonprofit.Courses may best be described as a “content aggregator.” Yes, we create some of our own content, but for the most part, we bring together content from all over the web to one spot – for your convenience. That way you don’t need to search hundreds, even thousands of sites for what you want or need to make your mission thrive.
So, why is that important? It turns out that most of this content made free (or available for the “price” of signing up on mailing list) by those who create the content. Besides, it would be wrong to charge you for delivering what is already free from them.
But why do they make their content available to Nonprofit.Courses free?
While I can say (and it’s true) that a lot of people care about nonprofits and they make good educational content available so that you succeed, it’s more than that.
Some content experts work for nonprofits or professional associations, but most content experts are businesses who offer products or services to nonprofits. They could be consultants, software providers, recognition system designers, accountants and more. For businesses, or even persons looking to build their career, making free content available is what’s called “content marketing.”
Okay, so what is “content marketing?”
Content marketing is providing meaningful, valid information as a way to demonstrate one’s expertise in a specialty, and thus, attract you as a customer. Basically, by giving you good information, the provider shows you that they know what they’re doing, with the chance that if you want more in-depth expertise or the product they sell that’s related to the expertise, you’ll call them.
That’s good, but can it be trusted? In short? Yes!
There’s a strong incentive for a content expert to give you good information to show you that they know what they’re doing. People talk. Giving you bad information damages their credibility – and their business. Most will tell you (and have told me) that they only succeed if you succeed.
That’s why the content you find on Nonprofit.Courses is, first and foremost, educational. It doesn’t get on the site unless it is. That means no “infomercials,” how-to product demonstrations (like how to use a specific software package) or anything that promotes a political or religious point of view (although, if a religious or politically oriented organization has a course that is universally applicable, it’s welcome.)
However, content experts are welcome to use their branding in any content. It’s only fair that they do. Their job is for you to remember where you heard that great method or insightful comment so you know to seek them out for more.
So, how does Nonprofit.Courses make money to support this free content? A few ways.
You’ll notice that some courses are not free. These tend to be the ones that are more in depth, have proprietary information, or some commercially available books. For those, Nonprofit.Courses gets a percentage of the fee, usually through an affiliate agreement with the Content Expert.
In addition, Nonprofit.Courses makes money through advertising. Many who provide products and services to nonprofits would like greater visibility for their offerings. We’re glad to offer that as a way to support the educational material you get. You’ll see their brands listed, and if you contact them, please let them know you called because you saw them on Nonprofit.Courses.
Yet like anything, don’t take just one content expert’s word on anything. Use Nonprofit.Courses to get a diversity of opinions.
Short of massive sites like YouTube or Vimeo, Nonprofit.Courses may be the only place where you’ll get a variety of content from competing voices on a large number of nonprofit focused topics.
Nonprofit.Courses does not “single source.”
There is no one, single presenter on planned giving, for example. Ideally, you’ll see several. That’s so you get to compare what you hear and go with what makes the most sense for you and your mission.
How can you help?
- Use Nonprofit.Courses. Nonprofit.Courses is most successful when people use it. Yes, it’s gratifying to see. But it also allows me to go to advertisers with solid numbers to justify their advertising support.
- Tell your friends and colleagues about Nonprofit.Courses.
- Create a course! Do you have expertise in an area that’s valuable to nonprofits? See here for some helpful information for Content Experts.
- Recommend a course. If you see a course, webinar, eBook or podcast elsewhere that I think should be on Nonprofit.Courses – tell us! We’ll work to get it available on Nonprofit.Courses, for your convenience and for your colleagues.
Thanks much for reading this far. If you haven’t already signed up for New Course Alerts, go ahead and do it now. Or if you have – enjoy another course!
Matt Hugg, President and Founder, Nonprofit.Courses