10 Nonprofit Truths to Know and Share

March 4, 2024

After 10 years of partnering with nonprofits, The Cause Agency has learned a lot about these change-making organizations — not only because we are one, but also we’ve had the privilege of working so with many of them. To mark ten years as a nonprofit marketing agency working with nonprofits, here are ten things we know to be true about nonprofits.

1. Nonprofits make the world go round.
The headlines for nonprofits really should read something like “Mighty Hearts, Minimal Resources: The Unsung Superheroes of Nonprofits Transform Lives Daily.” In a world often overshadowed by daunting challenges, nonprofits are a beacon of hope and resilience. Big and small, these organizations hold up so many groups that need support.

2. The nonprofit sector is a major employer in the U.S.
Did you know that nonprofits employ more than 10% of the U.S. workforce? According to the National Council of Nonprofits, the nonprofit workforce is 12.5 million strong, making it the third largest “industry” in the U.S. behind manufacturing and retail.

3. Nonprofits are great at figuring out what they’re passionate about.
There are so many needs in the world, it can be overwhelming to decide how you want to make a difference and then walk in that direction for the longterm. Nonprofits, however, have figured out how they specifically want to support others, foster growth, or encourage exploration and then carry that work forward for years to come. That’s the definition of a change-maker.

4. Women make up 75% of the nonprofit industry.
From our very first days, The Cause Agency has been female-led, so we certainly understand the impact women can have in the nonprofit world. As we work with nonprofits, it’s exciting to see so many women finding their passion, sharing their talent and leading teams and organizations.

5. Nonprofits are led by some of the most visionary people we know.
Our team of Cause Agents has been blown away, over and over, by the people we meet as we partner together on marketing, PR and development projects. Nonprofits are filled with people who are driven to do good in the world and we are continually amazed by their determination to make lasting change.

6. Nonprofits are resilient.
We’ve seen it through the last ten years of the economy changing, through a pandemic and more: nonprofits stand the test of time because they’re rooted in work that matters. Nonprofits have a keen ability to adapt to changing circumstances including adjusting programs, services, or operations to address emerging needs or unexpected challenges in the communities they serve.

7. Nonprofits possess one of the most important resources for the future: emotional intelligence.
Last year I was at a nonprofit communicators conference where the keynote speaker talked about how, due to AI increasingly changing the way people work, emotional intelligence will become an even more important skill for people to possess. As this Harvard Business Review article puts it, there are “a lot of things that machines can do better than human beings” but what we can do better than any smart machine is relate to the people around us. The human experience — joy, pain, fear, exhaustion, hope, connection — cannot be replicated by AI. Nonprofits are major people connectors and their skills and services will only increasingly be important in a world of AI.

8. The nonprofit sector is a major employer.
According to a report by the National Council of Nonprofits, the nonprofit sector contributes more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy every year. The total revenue of nonprofits has grown from a little more than $1 trillion in 2000 to almost $3 trillion today. There are 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States, but the total number is believed to be closer to 1.8 million.

9. Nonprofits do a lot with a little.
According to studies, only 3% of nonprofits have annual revenue above $5 million per year while 73% of nonprofits have an annual revenue of $100,000 or less per year. Being a nonprofit, we understand the need to be wise with your resources which is why for every project we handpick a team of Cause Agents to work with you.

10. Only 24% of nonprofits have a written and approved marketing plan.
It’s hard to grow if you don’t have a strategic plan of how to reach new audiences and expand to new communities. If your organization falls in with that 24%, our team at The Cause Agency is here to help. Let’s talk about what marketing, PR, a new website or a social media plan could do to help your nonprofit grow and reach even more people. Contact our team here on our website or at 817-335-0101.