This Saturday, August 17, is National Nonprofit Day—a day set aside to recognize the positive impact nonprofits like yours have on communities and the world.
It’s true. You do.
In fact, the world would look very different if nonprofit organizations didn’t exist.
Did you know: Nonprofits contributed an estimated $985.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, or 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to the Urban Institute.
In very real ways, your nonprofit is a jobs creator and economic engine. That alone is worth celebrating.
Further, a 2019 report by the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University found that nonprofits account for roughly 1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. private workforce, or a total of 12.3 million people in 2016.
Putting that stat into perspective means that, for the first time, nonprofit jobs now equal manufacturing jobs. (Drop the mike.)
Your work also means everything to those who give their time to help others. The 63 million Americans, or 25% of the population, who volunteer at a nonprofit report that they feel better emotionally, mentally and physically. And, volunteers create solid impact, contributing $193 billion of their time to our communities, says Independent Sector, a national membership organization. That’s significant work.
Nonprofits Get Down to Business
You run an operation with tighter budgets; achieve impact with fewer resources; make a difference with less praise.
Companies could learn a thing or two from nonprofits about how to organize, mobilize and disseminate “products” (i.e., programs and services) on a tenth of corporate budgets. And when Plan A or B or even C doesn’t work—you make it work anyway—because people still rely on you for something important, perhaps even lifesaving.
“We are resilient, and we are not subpar to for-profit organizations. In fact, we are typically more complex and harder to manage than a for-profit entity and we should be sought after for our best practices rather than being subjected to ‘bizsplaining.’”
—Leader of a human services nonprofit in Washington, State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey 2018, Nonprofit Finance Fund
A Day to Celebrate, A Lifetime to Do More
To celebrate all that you do and the goals you achieve, take Saturday to reflect and to tell the story of your influence, locally and globally.
After all, National Nonprofit Day is a day to crow from the rooftop about your mission and services—not to boast—but to provide motivation to spur others to join your nonprofit’s story of success. A rising tide lifts all boats, right?
Remind them that you lead the ship to the destination.
Four Ways to Demonstrate Your Nonprofit’s Worth on National Nonprofit Day:
1. Reinforce your organization’s value. Numbers and percentages provide tangible evidence about how your services tie back to your mission and achieve impact. People can wrap their head around 150 meals served in a month or 75 percent of students received financial aid. That’s evidence that others can envision.
2. Create a void. Use language that gets people thinking about what their community would look like if your nonprofit didn’t exist. Without Johnson County Coalition for the Homeless, how would our more than 150 local neighbors find a nutritious meal to fill up their body and the soul? Keep language like “fills the funding gap” or “reaches young children who otherwise may fall through the cracks” front and center so readers get the importance of what you do.
3. Share your nonprofit’s impact stories. The best stories communicate, resonate and motivate. Read Stelter’s, “The Path to a Great Story” to make your stories stand out from the crowd.
4. Post our social images (below). Spread the word about National Nonprofit Day. Stelter has created inviting social images especially for you to share with the world on this day of reflection and accomplishment.
SIDENOTE: The irony of National Nonprofit Day taking place on a Saturday doesn’t escape me. Many, if not most of you, work weekends and after-hours to meet with prospects and donors, work at events, raise funds and, generally speaking, participate in all-hands-on-deck activities, at any given moment. Thank you for what you do to create a better world.
Celebrate With These Social Images
Take it to social media. Toot your own horn for once and celebrate with these social images, courtesy of Stelter. Just click and save.
For Facebook, LinkedIn and everything in between:
How you do plan to celebrate National Nonprofit Day with your staff, donors and community? Share your plans with us and spread the good news of your good work!