Why should I be interested in the nonprofit sector?

If the SMB sector is the “heart” of a country’s economy and society, then nonprofit sector is its “soul.” I believe that you can’t have a thriving and prosperous society without a strong nonprofit sector that provides the necessary services, support and development of the people.

Nonprofits are found in the arts, education, environment, health, human services, civil rights, social action and advocacy, religious organizations and international development and aid. They range from your local homeless shelter or thrift store, to huge foundations like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($37billion) or the Ford Foundation ($11 billion).

Contrary to what you might think, the term “nonprofit” doesn’t mean that the organization can’t make a profit on its goods or services, or that it can’t pay reasonable compensation to its employees. The term “nonprofit” (or not-for-profit, if you prefer) means that the organization is prohibited from distributing profit to individuals who have control of the firm, such as officers, directors or members. Nonprofit organizations are required to devote any profits to the continuing operation of the organization or to distribute it to noncontrolling persons (ie non-employees).

Here’s some interesting information about nonprofits in the US:

  • There are over 1.4 million nonprofits (as of 2013)
  • In 2012, nonprofits reported over $2 trillion in total revenue
  • In 2010, nonprofits accounted for over 9.2% of all US wages and salaries

There are nonprofit organizations in every city or region. Typically, the dedicated people who manage these organizations don’t have a business or leadership background – they’re there because they are committed to the organization’s mission and vision. Most nonprofit executives and managers are eager for coaching (and can really benefit from it)! By assisting a nonprofit, you’re helping not only the nonprofit, but your entire community as well. You could make a big impact as a Nonprofit Coach!

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