I am interning for a non-profit organization. Rather than creating products, we raise funds and implement programs. Analyzing the non-profit sector is somewhat unique because there aren’t really competitors. There are other players in the game, but we sort of collaborate with them. The main goal is to eradicate hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, so other organizations with a similar mission are actually our friends. Gorta-Self Help Africa sometimes puts on events or fundraisers with other organizations and companies who share the same values. This is a unique opportunity because these collaborations promote the sharing of ideas and new developments. This kind of communication across “competing” organizations allows for more innovation. If we see something working for a similar organization, we can adopt that strategy. In business, this would not usually happen because ideas are kept secret and private as each company tries to out-do the next.
A unique challenge that non-profits face is collecting funds. They have to find the small population of people who want to, and can afford, to donate. They make cold calls and send out fliers and give speeches. As compared to another company that, say, sells products, this is more about finding the donor who matches with Gorta’s goals rather than developing a product to fit a consumer. They are not fulfilling a need within a market, they are not providing a service to those who donate. This makes doing business more difficult and different from other sectors.
The non-profit industry is of interest to professional people in a few ways. Firstly, it is a great career choice for those looking to serve others and want to feel fulfilled. Furthermore, other businesses and business professionals support Gorta-Self Help Africa, like Bill and Melinda Gates. The main motivation for giving to the organization is most likely just for moral reasons, it’s a cause they are willing to support and they have the funds to do so