I’m intrigued by people who ask me, “Do you get paid for what you do?” 

Because I’m in nonprofit doesn’t mean I work for free. I’m amazed at all the people who think nonprofits are ran by volunteers.  That doesn’t mean they don’t or are not suppose to make money.  A nonprofit exists solely to provide programs and services that benefit the community. Nonprofits uses revenue (funds obtained by donors and government contracts)  to help pursue its mission and goals.   They may earn a profit, but those earnings must be retained for the future use to sustain the organization and its programs and services.

Nonprofits do not run themselves and do not run totally based on having a good heart.  Just like for-profit corporations, mission, leadership and management are essential to its survival.   Effective internal management, accountability for results, monitoring performance and evaluation help nonprofits work efficiently and effectively to reach their mission and goals.  But in order to have all these components, it’s important to have paid professionals to manage and lead a nonprofit. 

 We all know the saying, “You get what you paid for.”  While volunteers are helpful in supporting the work of nonprofits, they cannot take the place of paid staff.  While a volunteer’s heart might be in the right place, volunteers at times are not always the most reliable source of staffing.   Paid staff is important to accountability.  As for professional staffing, while nonprofit salaries pale in comparison to it’s for-profit counterparts,  the amount responsibility for nonprofit professionals can either equals or be even greater than those that work in for-profit.  Their jobs become even more challenging in difficult economic times when demand for services is great and resources are tight.

So to those people who ask, “Do you get paid for what you do?”  The answer is “Yes!” 

And honestly, if you were put in my position for one day, I doubt you would survive. So 😛