Non-profits – Yes, They Have $ To Pay You: by John LaRosa, Marketdata

There is a common misconception about non-profit organizations--that they are "cash poor" and are entitled to get a discount, because they are non-profit. That's a lot of B.S. I worked for a 501C non-profit trade association in the early 1980s and we took in millions of dollars, could afford to pay the Exec. Director a nice $150,000 salary, had 4 division managers and generated funds from membership dues, hosting an annual convention, magazine ads, publication sales, research reports, training seminars, etc. We were well off financially, thank you.

We paid a consultant well over $50,000 per year to produce a statistical benchmarking survey every year. Being a non-profit just means that this is the legal structure that the organization is classified under. It doesn't mean that they don't generate a profit by taking in more money than they spend. They do. In fact, many associations, like the one I worked for, ran a "surplus" most years. They have funds and they do spend money on outside services.

So, if you are a consultant, coach, trainer, speaker, accountant or other professional trying to sell a product or service to a non-profit, don't fall for the typical request for a "discount." Tell them that you treat all organizations equally and there are no special discounts. If you want to be "charitable", that's up to you--but it's not necessary.

Note: To view ongoing business posts by Marketdata's President and Research Director, John LaRosa, and to learn about our various market & industry reports, and to obtain free Press Releases, visit, or email:

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