The Inevitable Nonprofit and Money Conversation

With the launch of 501 Mission Place comes the same conversation about whether it’s right to charge a nonprofit for education. My thoughts on this have always been the same: nonprofits are businesses with a cause in mind. They consume services and products just like other businesses. They deserve some consideration in such matters, but free isn’t the only price point with a nonprofit.

Nonprofits Need Money to Run

The same people who complain that someone charges a nonprofit for a product or a service are the same people who hit me up multiple times a month for donations or support for their cause. Yep, at the very heart of every nonprofit is a need to sustain itself through donations and grants. I donate plenty of my own money every month to various causes (mostly homeless, children, autism, and cancer). One goal of 501 Mission Place is to help people improve their ability to raise more funds in a sustainable way. After another conversation with a CFO for nonprofits, we’re even going to look into conversations of budget and money management.

Nonprofits Buy From For-Profits All the Time

Having talked to people who run charities and nonprofits, there are all kinds of operation and infrastructure expenses built into such organizations. The goal is to minimize overhead so that more of the donated money goes to the target cause, but there’s always some overhead. Education is a decent kind of overhead because it’s the kind that hopes to provide a yield for the expense. As I run into nonprofits at events all the time, I know that they buy conference tickets and airfare and hotels and pay for meals. 501 Mission Place is a for-profit platform that offers a reduced rate from most online education community platforms (most of the other HBW platforms will cost $47 a month, so we took almost 50% off the rate to be sensitive to a nonprofit’s budget).

Ultimately, it’s a Decision

You don’t have to pay for 501 Mission Place. You can visit several great free resources all over the web. [chrisbrogan.com] is free, by the way. I write about nonprofits here every once in a while, and other stuff I write for businesses is still applicable to nonprofits. I’m a huge fan of NTEN, so check that out, too. Whether or not you decide to spend your money on 501 Mission Place is your choice, and I respect your choice.

Money Isn’t Evil

Every nonprofit and charity I know needs money to exist. They shut down all the time from lack of money. Seems to me that money is the lifeblood of every nonprofit I know, because just sitting around wearing ribbons and wanting to change the world isn’t really helping many people, is it? Systems need resources to survive. I charge a small amount of money per month with the goal that you’ll figure out ways to make much more than that for your organization based on the information the group gives you.

Decide for Yourself

I invite you to join 501 Mission Place, where we help nonprofits figure out how to grow, help with your specific challenges, and give you a network of engaged people seeking to take on the world’s issues and bring them to a new level. With our leader and facilitator, Estrella Rosenberg, and a bunch of smart minds like John Haydon, Marc Pitman, Rob Hatch, and you, we’ll do what we can to improve your cause’s effectiveness.

It’ll cost you $27 to figure out whether it’s for you. That’s the cost of a hardcover book. Sometimes, books are great but don’t apply to us. Not everyone got what they needed from Trust Agents, and that’s okay. So, you decide. Swing by 501 Mission Place and see what’s taking shape. We’re already hard at work trying to give people their money’s worth.

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