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Stop Calling Yourself a Small Nonprofit

Small flower

When someone asks you to tell them about what your organization does, what is the first thing you say? I ask that questions at least 10 times a week. The answer usually begins with:

“Well, we are a small nonprofit that…”

What does it mean to begin your description like that? Is it a shy, defensive, have-pity-on-me habit, or just an easy and expected thing to say?

Small flowerIf you’re reading this, you’re probably associated with a “small” nonprofit. But even that is relative.

I just talked to a fundraiser who said they worked at a small nonprofit, only to find out that their annual budget is close $10 million!

When answering that question, instead think about the wonderful mission that your organization fulfills! “We are a small nonprofit…” does not do yourself justice. Don’t let a “culture of martyrdom” take hold! Instead, try:

  • We are a nonprofit that provides needed services!
  • We are a nonprofit that saves lives!
  • We are a nonprofit that heals relationships!
  • We are a nonprofit that provides healthcare!
  • We are a nonprofit that saves animals!
  • We are a nonprofit that feeds the hungry!

Focus on the big impact you are making, especially when talking with prospective donors. Strive to create that ‘buzzability!’

There is nothing small about what you do!

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  • Lance Leasure

    So true Wayne! When someone gives you the gift of asking you to talk about our org, that's no time to get humble or to in any way downplay the amazing work you're doing. Great reminder.
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