Demystifying Nonprofit Myths and Misconceptions

Nonprofit organizations are often filled with misconceptions from the public. This is due to the lack of awareness as to how nonprofits operate, what they do, and who runs them.  In this article, we’ll bust some of the most common myths about the nonprofit sector. Myth: Nonprofits can’t make any money. Truth: There are countless […]

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Nonprofit organizations are often filled with misconceptions from the public. This is due to the lack of awareness as to how nonprofits operate, what they do, and who runs them. 

In this article, we’ll bust some of the most common myths about the nonprofit sector.

Myth: Nonprofits can’t make any money.

Truth: There are countless people who do not want to start a nonprofit because they believe in the misconception that nonprofits cannot make any money. This is not true, because the nonprofit sector is a well-respected and lucrative endeavor.

Nonprofits have seven different streams of income. They may come from any of the following:

  • Service fees and sales of products
  • Charitable contributions from individuals
  • Corporate funding and sponsorships
  • Federal, state, and local government grants
  • Federated funds
  • Public charities
  • Foundations

As long as a nonprofit has a mix of several streams of income, then it will become sustainable and fully funded.

Myth: You can’t get a paid job in a nonprofit organization since they only have volunteers.

Truth: It’s certainly possible to have a nonprofit career that pays. While volunteers are vital to many organizations, there are several other functions required in running a nonprofit. It needs a marketing officer, web designer, fundraisers, event organizers, grant writers, social media managers, and more. 

Myth: Starting a nonprofit organization is easy.

Truth: Starting a nonprofit might sound cool and easy in theory, but the actual work is exhausting and difficult. From the operational to the legal aspects, you’ll need to research, plan, and prepare first before you can actually start making a difference with your programs.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. There are a lot of tools and resources available that can help you kickstart your organization. A nonprofit coach can be your guide as you start a nonprofit so you don’t have to learn the hard way—you’ll learn a lot from your mentor as you go along.

Myth: Nonprofit leaders don’t have real qualifications.

Truth: It takes more than an idea to run a nonprofit. Nonprofit leaders have extraordinary leadership, passion, work ethic, organizational skills, and problem-solving expertise. It takes several years—even decades—of education and experience to learn the ins and outs of fundraising and donor cultivation.     

Nonprofit leaders are some of the most esteemed professionals. Anybody can come up with the idea of starting a nonprofit, but not everybody has the strength and skills to successfully operate one.

Myth: Donations will always come pouring in.

Truth: Money won’t fall from the sky, and donors won’t simply come knocking into our homes and giving us their hard-earned money. To get funds, there is a lot of planning, preparation, and hard work involved. And it doesn’t stop after a donor gives a donation.

Donor cultivation is an extremely important part of fundraising. Without it, nonprofits will always have to worry about next month’s budget. Getting recurring donations means building and nurturing relationships with individuals and companies.

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