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Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007 at 11:27 am

Why Do So Many Non-Profits Think They’re Different?

By Robert Gorell
August 8th, 2007

Most non-profits today face the same challenges of any small or emerging business, yet they remain broadly self-segregated from the business world. This divide seems most apparent when it comes to online strategy, where even larger non-profits seem to lag in terms of planning and innovation. Of course, this isn’t true of every non-profit, but it’s time for the “.org” crowd to join the modern marketing dialog in a serious way.

The good news is that the conversation does seem to be growing. Small Business Trends offers some food for thought on how non-profits have the same needs as small business, including a follow-up on how non-profits can learn from business and vice versa. It’s worth reading. In some ways, non-profits have lagged in terms of innovation because they’ve historically behaved as though they’re different, or that the business world is somehow at odds with what they do. On the other hand, countless brave non-profits have been forced to innovate in other ways due to scarce resources.

It’s time to start leaning from each other.

(Future Now would like to help. To show that we mean business — there’s that word again! — we’re offering a free pass to next week’s Call to Action seminar in NYC. So far, we’ve only had one taker. If you or someone you know works with a non-profit and would benefit from this focused, one-of-a-kind crash course on improving their organization’s website, email them quickly. We’ll be naming the winner tomorrow. Businesses shouldn’t be shy, either. We’re keeping enrollment small so that everyone has focused time with Bryan and Jeffrey to go over specific challenges on your site. There are still spaces available, but they may not last. Come spend the day with us and see why your for-profitchallenges aren’t so different from those of our friends in the non-profit world. If you think selling online is tough, try getting someone to donate year-after-year. Now that’s customer loyalty. :) )

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