With Nonprofit Clients, Patience is Mandatory

Dog PatienceIf you think you can just quit your job and instantly start making a living working for nonprofit clients, good luck.

From the outside, it looks like that’s what I did. But the behind-the-scenes truth is that I already had one major client lined up before I quit my job, great leads for several others, a cash cushion in the bank, and a significant other who offered to pay more than his share of expenses when needed.

All of that meant I could afford to be patient. I was, and the work came. But it was probably six months before I felt like I was in a solid, comfortable place.

Nonprofits are generally not fast decision makers or “impulse” buyers. You are talking about people who are usually quite frugal, and who have been “doing it themselves” for quite a long time.

It takes even more time for them to recognize that they need help, or that someone could do it better. It takes even more time on top of that to decide to spend the money (because they often have to go find the money or budget for the expense months — even a year — in advance).

Come up with your own lead development system, and work it hard, day in and day out. Then be patient. The clients will come.

We’ll discuss more strategies like this that are essential when working in the nonprofit sector during the Get Nonprofit Clients Coaching Program. Registration ends this Friday, October 2, 2015.