View Full Version : Copywriting for non-profits

09-19-2005, 07:39 PM
Hello all,
I would like to writer for nonprofits in order to work with companies I believe in. I hear conflicting things about whether there is money to be made there, or if they usually get their work done for free by volunteers. I understand that they might shell out for fundraising materials, since that is how they get their money. But, is that only at larger nonprofits?
Any other thoughts on the viability of having primarily nonprofit clients without starving?

09-21-2005, 08:35 PM
Non-profits are a very mixed bag when it comes to paying work. The larger ones are just as choosy as any other client. The smaller ones don't really have the budget to pay writers, but they're easier to get work with.

Also, most non-profits are being very careful with their money these days, with all the attention being paid to the relative proportion of income that actually goes to serve their mission. So the money that they might have "shelled out for fundraising materials" is being much more carefully watched.

Ultimately, smart business strategy is to diversify to some degree. You can have a few non-profit clients, but making that a specialty probably isn't the best way to go.

Just my 2.

10-04-2005, 07:08 PM
If you're interested in working for non-profits, check to see if you have a local advertising agency that specializes in that. Most large cities have one. I know that here in Toronto the Stephen Thomas agency works exclusively on non-profit. I'm not sure if they're large enough to have a branch in your neck of the woods. If not, there's bound to be some sort of agency in your area.

Other than that, a lot of non-profits have their work done pro bono by ad agencies, who then write off the expense as a donation.

10-04-2005, 07:59 PM
Thanks so much for the replies! I will try finding such an ad agency here. Also, my friend recommended this http://www.taprootfoundation.org/ as a way to at least get some pro bono nonprofit work into my portfolio (oh, yes, and to help them out too. :) ). In the meantime I will try to keep my main revenue stream (trickle) coming from commercial clients.