What's Missing?

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Nonprofits care. Nonprofits are staffed by hard working people. And for a long time, especially now, nonprofits have been doing more with less. So why the negative attitude about paying nonprofits what it really costs for them to operate? What’s missing is the understanding that nonprofits delivering services to individuals and providing programs in communities incur “overhead” expenses just like for-profit and government entities incur. Thank goodness the negative attitude towards essential expenses is changing – even if too slowly. We invite your help in spreading the word.


If you like the message in this cookout postcard, feel free to use it on social media to call attention to the limiting effect of the old thinking about overhead. Just click on the image to view the full-size image and feel free to save it and post it to social media with the hashtag #OwnYourOwnCosts. Also be sure to follow @NatlCouncilNPs and @buildnpcapacity on Twitter for updates and new resources. And we invite you to read an article published by NTEN authored by Rick Cohen, our colleague at the National Council of Nonprofits, who makes the case that without investments in technology, such as an up-to-date computers and database solutions (which would generally be accounted for as an “administrative” expense, lumped into the “overhead” category) most nonprofits will have difficulty delivering their missions. How does your nonprofit pay for technology expenses? Have you been successful communicating to grantmakers or governments, when negotiating a contract, the vital connection between investments in technology and advancing your nonprofit’s mission? The article offers ideas that may help critics of overhead understand that all nonprofits need to invest in infrastructure expenses in order to effectively deliver their programs and efficiently advance their missions. Read Changing the Conversation about Overhead.


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