13 Nonprofit Superstitions


Today is the first Friday the 13th of 2017, the other being in October. While those suffering from triskaidekaphobia may have decided not to do business today, we have decided to share some of our favorite volunteering and nonprofit superstitions (or myths) and the truth behind them.

1. Most nonprofits are large and have enough resources.

Truth: Most nonprofits are small and rely on donors and volunteers for their success.

2.  Nonprofits don’t have paid staff.

Truth: Even small nonprofits have 1-2 employees. These employees are paid to organize volunteers and take care of day-to-day operations.

3. Charitable giving only benefits rich donors.

Truth: Above all, donations benefit the organization and the organization’s constituents.

4. Nonprofits all have the same purpose.

Truth: Each nonprofit has its own cause, mission, and reason for existence.

5. Volunteering takes a lot of time.

Truth: Volunteering does not have to take a lot of time. Most organizations have various levels of involvement.

6. All volunteers are young college students.

Truth: Many retirees and professional adults choose to volunteer their time to nonprofit organizations.

7. Volunteers need to have specific skills.

Truth: Organizations often train volunteers on site.

8. Donor funds are not used on the cause.

Truth: Although this may be true with bigger organizations, many smaller more focused organizations depend on donors for programming.

9. Nonprofits should not charge fees.

Truth: Diversified income streams allow an organization to be less dependent on donors.

10. Professionals only work in nonprofits when they couldn’t make it in the corporate sector.

Truth: The nonprofit sector is full of a variety of professionals with a variety of skills.

11. Nonprofits are not competitive.

Truth: The nonprofit sector can be just as competitive as a corporate environment. All nonprofits are competing for the passions of the public.

12. Nonprofits only raise money.

Truth: Fundraising is only one aspect of nonprofit work. Others include programming, lobbying, and marketing.

13. There are too many nonprofits.

Truth: Nonprofits are built by passionate individuals, as long as there is a passion, there is a nonprofit for it.


Do you have favorite nonprofit superstitions or Friday the 13th myths? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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