Working in non-profits: A new trend for Entrepreneurs


Working in non-profits: A new trend for Entrepreneurs

Due to recent conversations I had with peers and other game-changers, I pondered a bit on the topic of non-profits and not-for-profits. Everyone seems to want to join, start one up or volunteer for it. Could working in a non-profit really be the trendy thing to do right now? I suppose it is better than wanting the latest Birkin bag and matching shoes, right? Oh no, you want that too? Psshha.

Examining this phenomenon brings up a couple of points: Most of us team up in the Millenial generation and our generation has certain characteristics that differ from those before us. Naomi Hirabayashi of Do Something (a notable non-profit) clarified in USA Today (September 2013), “(Millenials have) the power to act now” and “It’s not about the money…” but rather “energy and passion.”

Starting a non-profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it may not be about the money, especially since many professions within this sector bring in less than desirable wages for higher than average workloads, we do see examples (and many of them) to show us start-ups that changed the world and brought home more than their body weight in bacon. One of my favorite examples is a face and name you probably know well, Blake Mycoskie of TOM’s shoes.  While you may smile at your shoeboxes tucked away in your closet and the altruism he shared in your honor (shoe for shoe), his $250 million dollar business (according to Fast Company) is nothing to pity for being penniless.

Starting a non-profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than simply being on the rise of volunteerism and altruism, I think we have pulled up to an intersection of entrepreneurship and a charitable spirit. These two roads did not always intersect before and the new 4-way may result in some crashes, but more likely- some amazing new traffic patterns. Without losing you too much with my imagery, I want to reinforce how awesome this combo actually can be and why our generation is posed and postured correctly for it.

In a survey from Ernst & Young, LLP, five characteristics were highlighted that lend itself nicely to the world of non-profiteering: enthusiasm, collaboration, adaptability and entrepreneurial goals (USA Today, 2013). Taking these factors into account, you can imagine non-profits reaching a greater audience, marketing in multiple media verticals and thusly, reaching more of their target charities.

Starting a non-profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pew Research Center also noted service as one of the top three priorities of the generation which likely was instilled in us from the generations before us. Dick Clark, Jerry Lewis…. you rocked those telethons.

Just last month I was in awe of a man ringing his bell for the Salvation Army. He was a volunteer and had worked three 8 hour shifts that week (what?!). His spirit was sassy and engaging, and you know what? I went in and got cash to donate to his cause. Sales training 2014 and beyond? Maybe start with putting a little CAUSE in your closing model.


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