1. The Instant Success
You know them: they watched a documentary on how small children are losing limbs in Mongolia and instantly sent out an email to everyone they know asking for donations for their new nonprofit.
People were so impressed by this person’s caring, giving, and sacrifice, that they kept forwarding the email, when true to the 7 degrees of separation myth, Oprah received it! This person was invited on Oprah’s show where they proceeded to regale the exciting, and bittersweet, story of how they began a nonprofit with only $10 and a stick of gum in their pocket.
2. The 10-Year-Old
Mom and Dad take ten year old twins Kate and Nate on a worldwide trip where despite staying in Hiltons and buying luxury soaps and pizzas, the kids witness a child beggar, demand an explanation, and start a nonprofit.
Besides the unfair fact that Mom and Dad completed and paid for their 501c3 paperwork, and that they have an instant fundraising model – hello, change jars in classrooms? – you still can’t even compete with their cuteness.
3. But wait! There’s more!
It all began with a pair of shoes. If you bought a pair of shoes, then another pair would be shipped to some faraway place to be given to needy, shoeless children. How can anyone turn down a deal like that?
Soon enough, you’ll be able to wardrobe yourself and a kid in Africa every year from head to foot.
Maybe these organizations should branch out to even greater items like houses: Buy a house, and one is given to a homeless family in India.
4. The Billionaires
Warren Buffett broke nonprofit executive’s hearts around the world when he decided to donate all of his money to fellow billionaire Bill Gates.
Given that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation probably has enough money to solve every problem in the world, Warren’s money would have gone further if had just upgraded that tiny house in Nebraska that he’s always complaining about and purchased a mansion already.
5. The Problem Solver
John, a Harvard MBA student, who obviously has too much time on his hands has started an ingenious social enterprise that convert’s poor Chinese farmer’s bikes into the pathway to the future!
It’s simple really, try to keep up: water drums are placed on the bikes and when the bike is pedaled the water is churned clean, and the dirt that comes out and is used for fertilizer. This fertilizer is used in combination with a very special substance which when spread on the farmer’s plots to create giant and healthy crops which the farmer’s can then sell. Once they’ve made some money, they’ll send their daughters to school where they will learn to rise up and become the next teachers, politicians, and writers changing the very fabric of their country.
Do you see what a simple bike started?
6. The Subscription Service
Despite the fact that no one in the US ever bought doggie treats or sewing buttons every month of the year, these subscription services have taken us all by surprise with their great deals! The more you buy, the more you save?
All joking aside, everyone who has started – or even thought about starting – a nonprofit, social enterprise, or business has faced one of these 6 competitors in some form or another. But, don’t make assumptions about their success. And don’t count yourself out.