Some do, some don’t! Those who don’t can learn from others, if they are willing to and don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel. There are also more creative options to achieve their goals, for both of them. But in this post I’d like to focus on those who have money. Most of them receive funding from the government or agencies specialized in getting the funding and distribute it, at least in Canada. How they use them, it’s another story… based on their values and ways of transforming those values into programs.
Few days ago I received a message from someone working in a non-profit organization, their employment services are funded by the government. He was looking for speakers that he can invite to share information on employment topics. When I asked if they pay the speakers, the answer was: “No, we are a non-profit!” These non-profit organizations receive money, but it seems that it’s not important for them to pay speakers that can provide more value to their clients. Free refreshments are usually included in their workshops, event transportation tickets. These are things that their clients could use short term, but a valuable presentation or workshop could help them long-term!!!
Often, the front line worker doesn’t know what is the budget for such activities, and the coordinators and managers don’t know the return of these activities in terms of helping their clients. They are happy to get the number of activities included in their annual plan, and to pleased their funder this way.
My answer to this person was: “If you don’t have money for speakers, then approach them by saying what they could gain by becoming a guest speaker with your organization. Some examples could be: giving back to community, a reference letter, mentioning his/her name in the organization’s newsletter (if any) or on social media profiles (that will increase the visibility of this speaker in the community).
We are all busy, but if you want people to give their time, next time try to better “sell” what your organization can offer… even if you don’t have money to pay them!
In his last message, the person mentioned that he wanted to distinguish “free speakers” from “profit speakers”! And suddenly, such a simple question as “Does your organization pay for speakers?” put myself into the category of “profit speakers”. Funny, this is just several days after I received an award for volunteering! 🙂

“Don’t make me think!” is a concept that’s used in designing websites, that helps designing in a way that could engage the potential website visitor to spend more time on that website. This concept applies anywhere! Even when you’re looking for a job or you want the collaboration of someone else: present the benefits to hire you or collaborate with you, don’t make them guess… some might not find the answers that suits best your request!

What are your thoughts on this?


Do non-profit organizations have money?!
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