How to conduct a nonprofit survey & finally understand your mysterious audience

Let’s face it: your nonprofit’s audience can be very mysterious. Sometimes they donate, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re excited to be a part of your work and other times you can’t get their attention. Instead of letting yourself become discouraged, we want to encourage you to talk to your audience. Granted, you can’t sit down with each of them to uncover answers to all your questions, but you can conduct a nonprofit survey.

First, why a nonprofit survey?

Maybe you already believe in the power of this type of interaction, but if you don’t, boy do we have a case for you!

Marketing guru, Kissmetrics, points out how it may be true that you can learn a lot by studying data about users out there, but at the end of the day, you don’t get the answers to one very important piece of the puzzle: the why. Why did or didn’t your donor finish filling out the donation form? Why does or doesn’t your volunteer read your email newsletter?

If you can get the answer to these questions, from real users, you’ll have the information you need to start removing any of the obstacles between your audience and the action they take with your nonprofit. You can edit your website forms, tweak your content strategy and rephrase your copy in ways that resonate with your audience.

What’s just as notable about nonprofit surveys is that by taking the time to ask your audience questions, you go from constantly talking at them to opening up the conversation. In doing so, you demonstrate you care how they feel and what they have to say.

How to conduct a nonprofit survey & get the answers that count

1. Select a tool.

First, check the software you currently use to see if they have an option. You may be surprised that the tool was available to you this whole time. Otherwise, ArcStone has used and been satisfied with Survey Monkey and Google Survey. Capterra wrote up a post on five free survey tools for nonprofits to help uncover additional options.

2. Determine where you’d like to place the survey

We recently had a client come to us to check on the best practices for a short survey they wanted to send out. Note that the answer to this largely depends on context—how long the survey is and to whom you’re asking questions.

For this client, they originally thought sending it out in their newsletter would be best, but we advised against it. Instead, we suggested creating a distinct, simple landing page. This way, the survey would be void of distractions and they could lead to it from other sources besides email.

3. Think about how you will use this data

You don’t want to blindly ask questions before knowing where this data will be used.

For example, if you’re using this data for your yearly nonprofit report, you want to ask questions that will get you concrete numbers rather than open-ended responses. If it’s merely an opportunity to receive feedback on your most recent fundraiser, you can ask questions that give your audience space to reflect. With this, it’s likely you’ll get some unexpected ideas as they answer questions you didn’t even think to ask. Be open to these ideas as they could help expand your nonprofit’s creativity.

Similarly, you’ll want to think about who needs this data. If it’s for your Board of Directors, the language used might look different than if it’s for your web team. With each stakeholder, bring them into the survey development stage so you can ensure you’re asking useful questions in an appropriate way.

5. Choose optimal questions to get you honest, useful responses

Surveys rely on a lot of strategy to get answers you need. You don’t have much time before your audience gets bored or busy so your questions need to count. You’ll want to ask specific ones so that your audience understands what you’re looking to know. SurveyMonkey provides templates with tried-and-true survey questions for donors, volunteers and general organization feedback.

You also should avoid asking leading questions like, “why did you like coming to our gala?” Questions like these assume something about your audience which can both turn them away and provide incorrect data.


In the end, you’ll want to ensure your survey sounds like it’s coming from you. Ask questions you would ask if you were sitting down with each and every survey recipient. As you develop the survey, be patient, ensuring each question will get you the information you need to better serve your nonprofit audience. Need assistance setting your survey up? ArcStone’s happy to help! 

How to manage your Board of Directors during a nonprofit website design project

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Your Board of Directors deserves a whole lot of credit for keeping your nonprofit alive. However, during a nonprofit website design project, we hear they tend to cause some issues. It’s likely your Board is full of wonderful, yet opinionated people, all of whom care deeply regarding where your nonprofit’s precious funds are being allocated. If all of these Board Members are interjecting their opinion throughout each phase of your website design, you’re going to experience frustration.

This becomes especially problematic when these discussions start to slow down the redesign, causing missed deadlines, unmet expectations and unexpected budget changes. Moreover, if you don’t have one person who has the final say, arguments arise. So how can you manage your Board of Directors throughout your design project?

Pre-project

The more planning that gets done prior to your project launch, the better. This will help you determine your project’s needs, choose your vendor and set up a strong team structure before things get crazy. If you and your team set this up and agree upon things early on, when conflicts arise, you’ll have these decisions to point back to.

Assign roles

1. Who will choose the vendor?

2. Who all needs to be updated on the overall project status? Who needs to be involved on a day-to-day level?

3. Who will make the final calls on all project decisions? Who is responsible for project success?

Explain this to the rest of your organization as well, talking through why a smaller team will lead to greater efficiency. That way, if Board Members or otherwise get overly involved, you don’t have to immediately shut their opinions down, but can point back to how you mutually agreed upon the the ultimate decision maker.

Hire a project manager

If you can afford one, a project manager can be a huge asset to the success of your nonprofit website redesign. They become worth their weight in gold as they keep you on time and on budget. If this project manager is from a 3rd party, they also step in with their unbiased perspective to resolve any conflicts between your Board and team members.

Interview or survey your staff and Board

Everyone likes to be heard—especially when you’re designing a site that will work as the new face of your organization. By asking for their opinions before the project, you establish that you care what they have to say and give them a chance to say it. This is a more regulated way to get them involved but also helps to alleviate their interjections when they are not being asked for down the road. Best of all, people have amazing ideas and you’ll have plenty from which to choose.

During the project

Provide status updates

We all know communication is key and no one likes surprises when it comes to budgets and projects. However, that doesn’t have to mean a daily or even weekly meeting with your staff or Board. Instead, set up a structure for status updates or memos.

When you send these out, update everyone on where you are with the project overall. This is also an opportunity to ask any questions to the appropriate team members if an opinion is needed.

Project status updates will make people feel more involved, help remove constant questioning from those that are less involved and keep enthusiasm up for your nonprofit as a whole.

Focus on donors, volunteers and other site users

It’s easy to get caught up in what you and your project committee think is right and what you want to see. Instead, keep coming back to the end-user: your site is mainly made for donors, volunteers, community members and those in need. When you come to a difficult decision, keep these audience members at the forefront of your thoughts.

Listen to the professionals

Again, it’s easy to get caught up in what you think is best, but you hired the professionals for a reason. They know what they’re doing! Encourage them to keep presenting ideas to you. For more complex decisions, you can even have them come into the office and show their ideas to your team. Odds are they will be better at communicating their ideas and this collaborative effort will result in a better website.

Wrapping up the project

Present the site

Rather than sending the new site link in an email, it’s beneficial to sit down with everyone at once and talk through the site. This way, you’ll have a chance to explain the decisions you’ve made and they can understand how you hope the site will be used.

You can even use this time to train the staff in on how to enter blog posts or make updates if they will be involved with that. Lastly be sure to set up a system for how team members can report any bugs or errors they come across, as it’s inevitable that one or ten will exist.

Discuss next steps

The worst thing you can do post site launch is to let your site just sit there. It needs to be optimized and updated. This launch meeting provides a place for talking about what the goals are for fully utilizing your site day-to-day. If there are phase 2 projects, you can discuss what the priorities are and what these costs look like. If you do a good job at presenting these initiatives, the Board can fight for them, helping to make them happen.


If you’re thinking about a redesign, here are our favorite resources for starters:

10 Step Blueprint for a Nonprofit Website Redesign

25+ Website Redesign Resources

Why voter turnout matters to your nonprofit

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Image source: Pixabay

Seth Godin wrote a concise and powerful post on the importance of voting – not just for the general well-being of our democracy, but moreover, what it means to the nonprofit realm when people don’t vote.

If we reason that we won’t vote because neither of the candidates are good enough, nothing changes.

This same line of thinking could be applied to nonprofits: none of them are flawless enough so I’m not donating or volunteering. Where would we be if that’s the way we went about our every choice and every change?

I posted more snippets from Seth’s blog below, but be sure to read the full post »


“The easiest way to win an election is to get the people who might vote for your opponent to not vote.”

“The thing is, there has never been a perfect leader. There has never been a flawless president. There are always weaknesses, foibles and scandals.”

“Same thing for the charities we donate to (or don’t), the heroes and mentors we revere, the organizations we’re proud to be a part of.”

“Vote as if you’re responsible, because you are, especially if you don’t vote.”

Nonprofit social media report – best practices before you present to your Board of Directors

nonprofit-social-media-report

Many nonprofit marketers see the value in social media as it builds your community in the digital sphere. However, many nonprofit Board of Directors may not see the value. A possible solution: A quick report that effectively shows the power of social media.

A two part post by Raissa Mendes on Medium illustrates how we can make this social media report happen.

To start your social media report:

1. Establish the criteria with which you’re reporting

First, focus on your goals on social media. Are they more big picture, such as gaining more followers and more traffic to your nonprofit website? Or, are they aimed at driving people to your donation page or engaging with a specific influencer or cause? Map out which numbers matter to you.

2. Determine how often you’ll report on your nonprofit’s social media

Don’t just say you’ll start more reporting and then do it when you find a spare moment every few months. Set a date on your Google Calendar that notifies you bi-weekly or monthly. Some ideas from Mendes includes weekly, every 28 days, every 90 days or every time you launch a new campaign. If your nonprofit is often sporadic in how often you allocate time for social media, you may want to stick with this last option as you will see the most in a targeted campaign.

As you continue building your report…

3. Figure out how you want to phrase your reporting to your Board of Directors

You can use comparative reporting = How something has changed from this month versus last month or the like. This is best for if your nonprofit is trying something new.

Actuality reporting = Look at one specific point in time. How much traffic is coming to your site from a specific post?

Campaign-based reporting = Determine if your campaign has performed well. Has it impacted donations or volunteer sign ups? Have you reached your goals?

Specific numbers your nonprofit can point to:

4. Volume of posts

Monitor how frequently you’re able to update your social media channels and website blog. Is there a positive correlation to this number and overall website traffic?

5. Clicks

The number of times a piece of content gets clicked on could indicate your audience’s interest in the content or the success of a factor like the title or image you chose. There are a few ways Mendes breaks down clicks:

a) Total clicks = “Sum the clicks from each post in a specific date range”

b) Clicks / post = “Total clicks / # of posts”

c) Clicks / followers = “Click per post / total # of followers”

6. Impressions

This is valuable to point out to your Board as it shows them how many sets of eyes are viewing your content. This may include people who haven’t even followed you on social media as many platforms reach beyond existing followers.

7. Engagement

This is one that may get foggy for any Board member who likes specific proof of your social media account’s effectiveness. Engagement includes clicks, shares, likes and comments; to any digital marketer, we know this means our audience is interacting with us, which eventually could lead to a donation or more involvement with your nonprofit down the funnel. However, you may need to explain how this correlates when you report to your Board.

Some interesting ways to track engagement numbers include engagement per post and engagement per follower. This can highlight if your effort to increase post frequency or number of followers directly correlates with how much interaction you get on your accounts.

8. Social Referral Traffic

It doesn’t take a Google Analytics expert to take a look at how much traffic is coming from social media to your website. Once you have this number, you can see how well your social media accounts are performing. If you are analytics-savvy enough to track how social media leads are moving through your site, and you see an increase in donation page visits or sign up forms, you know your social media accounts are taking flight.

What to do with all these numbers:

Now that you have a beautiful amount of numbers, take time each reporting period to draw some conclusions. When you put X amount of time into social media you get X amount of donations. When you invest X amount of your marketing budget into social media, you get X amount of traffic to your website. The more time you take to reflect, the more targeted and efficient you can be with your social media efforts down the road. Eventually, you can show your Board of Directors that the initial investment in social media means you can decrease spend down the road.

Need help setting yourself up with a healthy social media report? Contact ArcStone to speak with our digital strategists.

Have a nonprofit intern? 5 assignments to benefit you and your intern

nonprofit-intern

It’s likely that as the holiday season draws nearer and the pressure to bring in donors’ gifts is getting hefty, you could use the help of an intern. This is a great idea in theory, but simply having someone come in and make coffee runs or manage mundane tasks won’t benefit your nonprofit in the long run and may actually hurt it. You want to make the most of the internship for both your intern and your nonprofit.

Consider this: you could have an intern that takes care of a lot of your day-to-day tasks about which you just don’t want to worry. They leave the internship with something on their resume, but they also didn’t learn that much about the nonprofit world and don’t feel grateful for the opportunity. That’s one less advocate for your nonprofit or one less potential donor / volunteer down the road.

Alternatively, you take on an intern and invest an initial amount of time into planning out their internship and acclimating them into your nonprofit and they leave with a huge amount of gratitude for your organization. They may even be in a position where they could step right into a real role on your team.

5 tasks to complete with your nonprofit intern

1. Give them your nonprofit’s story

I have been thrown into a couple of internships with a long list of to-do’s and no context for why these are being done. More specifically, the organizations didn’t tell me why they do what they do or take time to explain their process.

If you don’t take the time to sit down with your intern and explain your nonprofit’s purpose and / or what you hope to achieve by hiring them as an intern, it will be difficult for them to see their value at your nonprofit or leave feeling like your nonprofit is of value to them.

Talking more with your intern will also benefit them if they are asked to partake in blog writing, events or outreach. They will better be able to articulate aspects of your nonprofit in a way you would yourself.

2. Integrate them into the team

If you have your intern jump right in on the first day without introducing them to your team, it’s more likely your team won’t integrate with the intern. Point out who is responsible for what and how the intern might be able to work with any of those roles. Ask your team if they are willing to step in and help the intern when need be.

The intern will leave their position feeling like they were really a part of something and with a list of connections. Plus your employees could gain fresh ideas by working with the intern.

3. Have them review your copy

There’s nothing like a set a fresh, recently-graduated eyes to review your content. Have them assess your blog, social media, grant proposals and other website copy. If your intern is a strong writer, ask that they contribute to these areas as well.

4. Finalize a project that’s been on your back burner

We all have those wishlist to-do’s we never have time to tackle. Determine your intern’s strong suits and if any of those fit your wishlist item, have them take it on. Just be sure to allocate enough time in your own schedule to give feedback and review their work.

5. Create a valuable piece of content

Your intern is coming fresh off the press of college education plus is of the generation that is tech-savvy. Assign them to creating an ebook or infographic on your organization. This will help them learn more about your nonprofit, challenge themselves to use digital tools, and leave you with a nice new piece of content to work with on your website.

the-nerdy-nonprofit-newsletter

7 instances when it may be okay to DIY your nonprofit digital marketing

nonprofit-marketing-tools

The Atlantic recently posted a daunting article, “The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee.” As if nonprofit marketers weren’t already stretching their tight budgets enough, the article indicates this may get worse.

Due to a new law going into effect in December, “millions of employees who make less than [$47,476] will be guaranteed overtime… when they work more than 40 hours a week” (The Atlantic). This sounds like a positive benefit to many, but for some, it could have negative consequences.

Since many nonprofit workers fall into this category, it could be less affordable for nonprofits to have a sufficient number of employees. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group stated, “[T]o cover higher staffing costs forced upon us under the rule, we will be forced to hire fewer staff and limit the hours those staff can work—all while the well-funded special interests that we’re up against will simply spend more.”

Whether or not you share this worry, it’s always good to know which tools you have in your back pocket to help with nonprofit marketing efficiency. We don’t often recommend DIY-ing your way through the digital sphere, but there are some instances when we think you just need a little boost to be able to take care of a digital task. Here are tools and tricks we’ve worked with in the past to help clients maximize their budget.

7 digital marketing instances where you might get away with DIY-ing

1. Google Analytics Go-To’s

If you simply want to know the basics of what’s going on your site – i.e. site traffic, referrals, popular pages, etc. – this blog can help you know where to look when you open your account. It probably won’t replace an agency or knowledgable staff member, but it can help you manage some of the day-to-day metrics and stay on top of your Analytics game without being certified.

2. Marketing Automation Software

A great way to see results with your digital marketing is through automating some of what you do. This post walks through how Hubspot has helped ArcStone organize and optimize blog content, promote on social media, manage email marketing, easily update our website, keep track of leads and sales, and keep most of our marketing content in one hub. We talk about how this could apply to a nonprofit as well. If you are running low on staff members, having a strong CRM is crucial to tracking volunteers, donors and your web content.

3. Email Marketing Software

In this post we visually mapped out some of our top pics for email marketing – Mailchimp, Contant Contact and Emma.  Rather than spending hours each day tracking down donors and responding to individual emails, using a email marketing software service can automate much of this process. Even the free accounts will help you manage your email newsletter subscribers, send out special offers to people who downloaded your content, or send out a reminder to those who registered for an event.

4. Social Media Tricks

Keeping track of your social publishing calendar can be a huge time sucker. It’s also been said that giving your social media responsibilities over to an intern can have negative effects, as they don’t know your organization and industry well enough. This post walks through each social media account that your nonprofit likely uses and how to optimize a post on each. Or review this podcast and exercise to learn about how to narrow down your social media focus to those platforms that really count.

5. Content Management Tools

If you simply need a free (or cheap) option to help you manage both blog content and social publishing, this post can help you select a great content management tool – check out what we think of Trello, Coschedule and Buffer.

6. Design Tool – Canva

We definitely don’t recommend handling all your own design work yourself. However, there are a few pieces of your digital content that you can probably create within Canva. This post points to how the Spina Bifida Association used their free tools well in email marketing and on social media to promote a conference.

7. Additional Tech Tools

If you’ve already invested your full budget into tech tools and need a few options that are more affordable, these five tools could cover the rest of your bases. There are a few tools we can recommend for site design, donations and other digital needs. Take a look at what we think of Squarespace, Upwork, Clickbooth, Searchmetrics, and Paypal.


If you need any further recommendations or would like to outsource any work to a professional, get in touch with our digital strategists at ArcStone. We do free website audits to assess your situation and help you prioritize your goals.

Pokémon Go + your nonprofit – July Nonprofit Marketing News

If you haven’t been hiding out at the summer cabin the past few weeks, it’s likely you’ve at least heard of Pokémon Go, if not been tempted to play it at all your lunch breaks. You may even be sick of hearing about it by now, however, this post from Nonprofit Quarterly points to ways in which you could optimize it for your nonprofit’s cause.

Go catch em all with your next creative fundraiser. For more trends and tricks, read the recap of the month below with our favorite posts.

– The Nerdy Nonprofit – July 2016 –

Social media lesson: Which networks should you be on?

Podcast + worksheet from co-owners of ArcStone, David & Lisa

nonprofit-marketing-news

Take 10 minutes to listen and determine where to focus your social media energy.

Fresh ideas: Snapchat success story

Contribution from Kate Metzger, digital strategist at St. Thomas University

nonprofit-marketing-news

It might be time for you to try out this social media platform. Read how this nonprofit school targeted their audience with 3 different successful Snapchat strategies.

Google tip: Maximize on micro-moments

From Think with Google

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Meet your audience in their time of need with some ideas from Google and our team.

Fundraising: New tool for fundraising data visualization

From Foundation Maps

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Yes, you can track where your funding comes from and yes, it’s free.

If you can spare 30 minutes or so this summer, reply to this message to sign up for a podcast interview. We’d love to chat and hear your story.

Now get Go-ing!  

Jenna & Chloe

the-nerdy-nonprofit-newsletter

Celebrate the little marketing wins – June Nonprofit Marketing News

As we enter summer, it’s a good time to celebrate achievement! Even with limited resources and staff, nonprofits of all sizes make a great impact. We liked this post from NP Tech for Good that shows you things you ARE doing right – 10 Signs Your Small Nonprofit Excels at Social Media.

If there’s anything you feel you’re missing in your digital strategy, glean some help from the posts below, or feel free to reach out to us!

– The Nerdy Nonprofit – June 2016 – 

Free tools in use: Branding & Event Promotion

by Spina Bifida Association
Read how this nonprofit excelled by using some free tools. 
Screen-Shot-2016-05-19-at-2.27.40-PM-5.png

Web design on a budget: Case Study

with Kids In Need 
Review a before & after shot of ArcStone’s recent, budget-friendly site redesign.

Blog optimization 1014 musts for your blog to try pronto

from SumoMe
Some easy and necessary fixes to get that nonprofit blog to rank in search results.  

Fundraising: 3 Critical Things You Must Know About Fundraising Compliance

from Amy Eisenstein 
Amy sits down with a fundraising expert to discuss tricky rules that some nonprofits neglect when seeking donations. 

Be sure to download our audience persona ebook if you haven’t yet had a chance. It’ll make your summer strategy all the more effective.

Cheers to summer!

Jenna & Chloe

the-nerdy-nonprofit-newsletter

Ways to Increase Nonprofit Blog Production

increase-nonprofit-blog-production

You know the importance of a having a nonprofit blog – and if you don’t, read this post. However, like most anyone in the nonprofit realm, you don’t have time to constantly be updating your posts. Here we will give you 3 ways to increase nonprofit blog production.

1. Keep everything documented and communicated through a Trello board (or something like it)

One of the most time-consuming pieces of the writing process is choosing what to write about, however it can be made one of the quickest. It’s likely your nonprofit team gets asked the same questions over and over. It’s also likely you have many events and fundraisers in the works. All of these subjects are potential blog topics, but you lose track of them when you finally have a chance to sit down and write.

Use a tool like Trello. What’s nifty about this software is you can have a column of ideas, then drag each idea into the next column of “in progress/writing,” then to “in review,” and finally to “completion/promotion” as you can see we do at ArcStone below:

using-trello-board-nonprofit-blogging-tools

You can also label each blog. If you have multiple blog categories on your site, label each idea with a color and try to fill your content calendar with one of each color each week. We use the calendar tool within Trello to hold ourselves accountable to filling each of our main categories. Likewise, if you use our favorite strategy, audience personas, you can tag each blog with a specific audience persona you want to target so you can better keep track of who you’re reaching.

Lastly, you can add team members to your board and communicate about your blogs within Trello. You may not have time to write 3 posts a week yourself, but you likely can rotate people to contribute content once or twice a month. Just be sure to have one team member go through each blog (which has been nicely placed in Trello) to keep the tone/style consistent.

2. Have a writing strategy mapped out that you can follow each time

a. Refer to your Trello board and notice what type of content is missing. Do you need more informative content or more stories from the field? Fill in the gaps.

b. Search what content is already out there beyond your site – go on a platform like Reddit or Buzzsumo and search an idea topic you have, then try to write something that hasn’t already been written. You can also use this as a way to see what types of posts get the most traction:

buzzsumo-tool-for-blogging

b. Use Semrush to find which key phrase you want your post to optimize around. Then incorporate this throughout the post, title, metadata, URL & the like. Read more on all the ways you can optimize a blog for better SEO.

searching-for-nonprofit-keywords

c. Cut back on distractions when you finally sit down to write. Close your email, plug in your headphones and resist the temptation to multi-task. You’ll be much more efficient. I love this post which explains how multi-tasking hinders productivity.

d. If you find yourself stuck, switch up your blog format. Did you write in a more narrative voice last time? Try a list-based or how-to blog this time. Find an infographic template on Canva to test out a visual representation of your content. Switching things up will boost your creativity.

nonprofit-infographic-tool

e. Review your blog through following a checklist – like this one I created for myself.

3. Use other people

That may sound like cheating, but it’s actually resourceful. Here are a couple ways to get help from others;

a. Reach out to people at your nonprofit, who have used your services, or people in the nonprofit realm in general. They may be flattered you want them to contribute to your blog. You can even offer to write a post for them, as long as they give you some direction.

b. Find articles you know your audience will like and share them via your blog. You can add your own two cents to the post or simply post a summary and link to the post. Share the post and tag the contributor on your social media posts.

c. Have a post from last year that performed well but is out of date? Recycle it. Follow what the post did, but make it more relevant for today. Don’t just copy and paste, as duplicate content isn’t good for much.

Try out our nonprofit blogging strategy but also feel free to reach out to our team at ArcStone for help generating content ideas.

The Nerdy Nonprofit Podcast – Why I Chose Nonprofit Over Corporate

Why-work-at-a-nonprofit

As explained in our “A Quick Recap” post, we attended the Nonprofit Tech and Communications Conference this spring and recorded a podcast with several attendees. The sum of their various roles and perspectives gave us an ample amount of content to digest. For the first of our series, we decided to focus in on excerpts regarding why these folks chose the nonprofit realm in the first place.

Here’s the podcast on our site, but you can also find it on Soundcloud,  iTunes, and Stitcher.

And a special thank you to our sponsor and conference host, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

You’ll hear from…

What’s most interesting to me is several of the interviewees had tried out the corporate world previously, but none of them expressed wanting to switch back. Some even claimed they would never again make the leap now that they’ve experienced nonprofit work.

Here’s a few of my favorite conclusions from Lisa’s interview on the main reasons people choose to go nonprofit:

1. They are motivated by a mission

  • They want to know they are making a difference – either they worked in the corporate world and felt frustrated with the focus on the bottom line, or they had a life change that shifted on what they wanted to focus
  • As Marcus put it, he wanted to know he was working for “some sort of greater good”
  • Robin expressed wanting to work for something rather than against it. She felt like at her previous job she was fighting against people rather than fighting for people
  • For Patrick, he said it was a more spiritual calling. As he phrased it, “I felt God knocking on my door… for once in my life I finally said yes”
  • Sara Gove explained she wanted to be able to answer the question, “why am I doing this, and what is the ultimate mission?” and feel good about the answer.

2. They appreciate transparency between “competitors”

  • Gail quoted a principle of Paul Wellstone: “we all do better when we all do better,” and added how she realized, “a healthy nonprofit community doesn’t start and end with your own organization.”
  • This being said, it’s refreshing to see nonprofits share their trade secrets because they want everyone to be doing well – a major difference from some companies

3. They are future-oriented

  • Gail pointed out she wanted to make a better community for her children. These people care deeply about what the world will look like tomorrow and want to commit their work to changing that today

4. They love to see others benefit from helping people

  • Amanda pointed to the stat that people who volunteer 5.2 times a month “self-identify as happier simply from the act of volunteering.” She said it was amazing to see people realizing the power of helping others.

5. It is so very rewarding

  • Amanda noted that working for a company that didn’t have a mission “wouldn’t fulfill a passion” in her. “I would never want to do anything that damages people and to work in an organization that’s whole entire goal is to help people at their most vulnerable time is important to me”
  • As Gail put it, “I’ve worked for nonprofits and I’ve worked for corporate, and I’ll pick nonprofits every time.”

Listen to the full podcast on SoundcloudiTunes and Stitcher.

Ready for more? Part 2: “Which social media networks should my nonprofit be on?”