One of the first obstacles I met was the fact that one part of the startup project was that it had to be a profitable one, which is hard when you are going for a non profit.
Also I had a long internal discussion with myself about accepting money.
As I envisioned it I’d rather find passionate people to build it and then released it to the world, free to use, but then I realised that if I want to find good talented people that want to work with this and do it good, then it needs to pay for their effort.
So money are needed to develop it, pay people, to expand it, keep it up and running, continue to add valuable content and to be sustainable.
So HOW was the big question. I had to dive into this question and one of the first things I saw was this playlist on Ted. See it to change your view on the non profit world.
One of the best one being by Dan Pallotta:
He talks about how we have different rules and belief system when it come to the non profits and how that stales their growth. One of them being compensating people for their valuable work and he mentions that we react really bad to the idea of people making money by helping other people but we have no problem with people making a lot of money by NOT helping people. The problem is that then it creates a choice between either doing good towards your family or doing good for you the whole world. Not giving you a chance to be both.
Another being the fact that we have a bad reaction to when non profits use money for marketing, which is not seen as a an investment to make sure that the cause of the non profit gets a better spread and therefore can bring in more money to people in need.
At the same time we have no problem with brands that get money through our purchases continue bombard us everyday with a new jingle.
Another thing to mention is about the time of the investment, when people invest into non-profits they expect to see results soon. So if you are non profit trying to build up a system that would require time and needed the money to continue be invested in it, there is no patience for that. But for-profits companies can continue get money without showing profit because they are expected to do that in the end. This creates hard pressure on the non profits to create short term results instead of longterm ones.
By following the existing belief system for non profits, it creates a deficit of growth, risk and idea capital within. So I had to change my view on the money and my view how profits should work, because the non profit world deserves as much ideas, growth and innovation as any other. I simply would rather build something where you make money by helping other people.
Check the entire talk:
Dan Pallotta – The way we think about charity is dead wrong