Misconceptions of Nonprofits
Posted February 18th, 2016
There are many myths related to nonprofit organizations. Before doing a little research, I wasn’t very familiar with exactly what distinguished profit and non profit organizations. Besides the obvious aspect that non profits are not for profit, I just figured that they made their money only through donations and things of that nature. In doing some research, there were a few things I found that I hope you find to be helpful.
Nonprofit vs Profit
Most people think that nonprofits can only be donated to and cannot receive any other sources of income. This is not true. Just think, if you were to start a nonprofit organization and rely solely on donations, how could you ever prosper as an organization or make an impact on the public? Nonprofit organizations are able to profit from their services; however, they are not able to use those profits for anything aside from public interest. With for profit organizations, funds can be used for private interest. An example of a nonprofit is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which uses its profits for research towards finding a cure for a variety of cancers.
The Faces of Nonprofits
When you think of nonprofit, do you think of an organization like National Geographic or do you think of Goodwill? I wasn’t even aware that National Geographic was a nonprofit organization, so I think of smaller organizations when I hear nonprofit. Factually, it’s proven to be true. The majority of nonprofits are typically smaller, having a lesser number of employees and smaller budget size. Although many people think larger organizations represent nonprofits, it’s actually the smaller ones.
There are perks that come with being a smaller or larger non profit organization. Working for or with nonprofit organizations helps you become more marketable for future careers. It’s amazing the amount of people you could meet working for nonprofit organizations because almost anyone could walk in the door wanting to make a contribution. The level of networking that can take place working with nonprofit organizations can surprise a person.
Other things can surprise you are the skills that one can acquire working in nonprofit organizations versus for profit organizations. Because most nonprofits are smaller and have different sets of rules, employees of these organizations typically have a greater care for benefitting others in what they do. This is not to say that employees of for profit organizations don’t have the same values, but the skills that separate the two can give them the upper hand in the workforce.
Social Media: Underutilized Resource for Nonprofits
Posted February 18th, 2016
I’m sure you have heard of social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter before. These are a few of the top social media networking sites used today and each of them are free to use. Nonprofits are typically smaller organizations that could greatly benefit from using social media. Why? Social media is growing 3 times faster than email for nonprofit organizations. In other words, these organizations are averting their attention from email to social media and quickly!
Snapchat is the newest social networking site on the scene, among Instagram and Twitter. What separates this platform from Twitter and Instagram is more than just the name. Snapchat has become popular for its ability to send pictures, videos, and chats through its platform at the speed of, for example, iMessage on an iPhone. This site could be useful for a few reasons.
1) Low Cost (Free to access)
2) The audience is already there
3) Easy to operate
Snapchat is free to use and, for smaller nonprofits with less money to spend, this could be very effective for methods of promoting that company. Another capability the app has is the ability to put videos or pictures that you want to share altogether into a story that only you and your followers can see. After building up a good clientele and donor base, this would be a good way of promoting events and making announcements.
Like Snapchat, Instagram is totally free to use. More and more companies are taking advantage of Instagram as of late. I definitely think it is a platform not limited to for profit companies, so a nonprofit benefit as much, if not more than a for profit company. Initially, Instagram was popular for just posting pictures for followers to see, but now it allows users to share videos as well.
Instagram has over 400 million users. For a nonprofit organization to utilize a platform with such a strong reach, the impact on the its success could be unimaginable.
Last but not least, Twitter is another social networking site that has grown in popularity among organizations because of it’s large outreach. However, Twitter is different from Snapchat and Instagram because it provides users 140 characters’ worth of text space to post for their followers. In addition, videos and pictures can also be shared using Twitter. The rather famous hashtags on Twitter have been the topics of conversation around the world. These hashtags hold the trending topics among Twitter users. This could be a powerful tool for a nonprofit organization to use to its advantage.
Promotion, appealing to a similar audience, and low costs connect all three of these platforms, whose power is underestimated.