Nonprofits are groups whose primary function is to benefit different communities and advocacies. They can come in different forms such as societies, organizations, and unions. Currently, there are roughly 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the country, showing just how successful these groups can be at meeting their end goal.
But despite how popular nonprofits are, there are still many misconceptions about them. Here are a few of the common ones that people have about these organizations and why they are untrue:
1. Nonprofits Thrive On Donations
While it is true that nonprofits accept donations– whether monetary or in-kind– to give to the communities they serve, this isn’t the main way they receive funding. Oftentimes, these groups will host fundraising activities like carnivals, yard sales, or raffles to gain money for their operations.
A popular yet extreme example of this can be seen with The Met Gala. The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts this annually and requires attendees to pay a fee to help with the cost of maintaining the institution. This is similar to our upcoming Annual Benefit Gala, where we ask our guests to buy a ticket to contribute to our vital programs that support our children and our organization for the following year. This year we are hosting our 15th Annual Benefit Gala at the Palace of Fine Arts | A Non Plus Ultra Venue in San Francisco on October 1st, 2022, to purchase a ticket please visit the event page.
There are also times when the government will give a stipend for expenses as a way to encourage more nonprofits to be created. So while donations are certainly important, they are not the only way nonprofits thrive.
2. Metrics Don’t Matter To Organizations
Each nonprofit has to have a certain set of goals to meet to truly make a difference in the community they are serving. This makes metrics extremely important in knowing whether or not targets are met. Without them, nonprofit operations will become extremely disorganized.
Our Principal Founder & CEO, Delfarib Fanaie, explains how our organization sets metrics such as being able to gather enough supplies to give to low-income families, having enough volunteers to pack and distribute goods, as well as knowing which districts are in most need. These benchmarks help nonprofits understand whether or not they meet their goals, making them integral to an organization’s operations.
Source: Monster Jobs
3. It’s Easy To Succeed In Nonprofit Jobs
Though nonprofit work may seem easy to outsiders, this is quite far from the case. There are many factors to consider when it comes to being able to find donors, connect with communities, and create successful strategies for aid. This is why nonprofits often work with human and social service specialists, as they have strong connections to communities and the expertise to provide crucial services. Because such knowledge and skill sets are crucial for non-profit roles, a career in a non-profit is very challenging to both start and succeed in.
To succeed in a position within these organizations, one must have a great desire to help others, have exceptional communication skills, as well as a strong sense of ethics and values. Without these, nonprofit workers would lose their integrity and sight of what made them want to take on the position in the first place. Professional success is an attainable goal in these organizations, but it takes a lot of commitment and sincere passion to do so.
4. Nonprofits Can’t Make A Profit
With the name ‘nonprofit’ people always assume that these groups don’t try to make a profit. However, nonprofit organizations do try to raise profits to fund their operations. The biggest difference between them and for-profit organizations is the fact that the money does not go to any individual member of the group but is rather used to further their cause. So while they do try to make as much money as possible, it is never used for personal gain but to better aid those in need and support the workers behind the operations.
Source: US EPA
5. Organizations Only Focus On Service Work
Volunteers are an integral part of any nonprofit organization but as mentioned earlier, there are people who make fulfilling careers in the industry. Many individuals opt to work with these organizations full-time and are therefore compensated for such. This becomes more evident in leadership positions as it would be difficult to run a nonprofit while also having a nine to five. A few key roles that are often paid employees are human resource directors, revenue officers, and researchers. Nonprofits don’t always focus on service work but volunteers do help operations go more smoothly.
With so many misconceptions, people often wonder whether or not they should support a nonprofit that caters to causes they care about. But it is clear that these organizations only want to help society become a better place and that communities continue to feel cared for.