Ever since Seth Godin went off on non-profits a few days ago I can’t get them off my mind. I worked for a non-profit for four wonderful years so these organizations are very near and dear to my heart. In my time there one thing really stuck out to me: the challenge of starting a non-profit is that most people don’t realize what they’re signing up for.
Here’s how the scenario always seems to play out. You’re passionate about some cause or injustice in the world. You think to yourself, “If I could only work to solve that problem full time I would be so happy. This is what I want my life to be about.” You start a non-profit not realizing what you have truly signed up for: you are now chief fundraiser. Not chief child hugger or chief mouth feeder. No no, as the leader of this organization what you will spend most of your time doing is raising money to equip other people to accomplish the vision or solve the problem. I believe this is a noble task, but it’s not for everyone.
If you want to spend your life directly working on some cause then get a job at an existing non-profit. Don’t start one.
Photo Credit: striatic