Despite the vast majority of nonprofit organizations being small (operating budget of less than $500K), the sector seems obsessed with its most prominent members. These “enterprise-level” organizations are a tiny sliver of the good work, but we tend to give them disproportionate attention and esteem. Why? Is it wrong to be small? What if small is a better design for a particular mission? Katie talks to nonprofit expert Julia Campbell about the enterprise of being small. Julia shares why the shifting donor landscape may favor the more diminutive do-gooders.
Unlike their more senior counterparts, next-generation donors aren’t hung up on size. Size doesn’t seem to impress them, whether referring to budgets or teams. Julia points out that if a need isn’t being met fast enough, Millennials and Gen Zers tend to take matters into their own hands. While large nonprofits may have more staff and capital, they are often slower to move and laden with bureaucracy. If your organization is on the smaller side, consider it a benefit! Network with younger supporters who may be looking for an organization that is responsive and agile.
Julia discusses the importance of donor trust and cites recent data from the Edelman Trust Barometer. It turns out, that many donors don’t trust large organizations. Significant fraud headlines, inflated salaries, or worse have abounded in recent years. Supporters are starting to question where their support is invested. Smaller organizations have more transparency simply by having fewer layers and “hands in the pot.” That efficiency and clarity can be magnified to donors through communications like your annual report and should be apparent on your website.
Hear all of Julia’s tips and insights when listening to the full episode here.
Named as a top thought leader and one to follow by Forbes and BizTech Magazine, Julia Campbell is a nonprofit digital consultant on a mission to make the digital world a better place. Host of the Nonprofit Nation podcast, she’s written two books for nonprofits on social media and storytelling. Her online courses, webinars, and talks have helped hundreds of nonprofits make the shift to digital thinking and raise more money online. You can learn more about Julia at www.jcsocialmarketing.com/blog