How Do Non-Profits Make Money?

Non-Profits Make Money

People are often confused by the concept of non-profit organizations. They often assume that they shouldn’t make money because of their non-profit status, but they still can. What makes a non-profit a non-profit is the core intention.

The main goal of a non-profit should not be commercial. As long as this condition is met, non-profits can make some money and owners should pay themselves. They have every right to with all the work they put in and the good they do for the people they help. Let’s take a lookat some of the ways non-profits make money.


Donations are the most direct way that non-profits make money. They are allowed to keep part of the donations for themselves so they can pay their employees, pay the founders, and keep the lights running.

Non-profit organizations can’t survive without a steady stream of donations. They need both regular big donors and to constantly bring new people to their organization. They also need to use a wide variety of tools to attract donations and foster loyalty among their donors.

If you want to get into the non-profit sector and are worried about achieving donations, we suggest you get familiar with techniques like email and SMS marketing. Learn how to use an efficient SMS fundraising tool for nonprofits like Tatango. An SMS fundraising tool for nonprofits will allow you to reach your base of donors when you need them the most and get donations at crucial times.

Selling Merchandise

You are also allowed to sell merchandise as a non-profit. Goodwill is a perfect example. While they generate billions of dollars in sales every year through their stores, a good portion of the profits goes towards their various programs, so they still qualify as a non-profit.

You can sell items that were donated to you or create your own line of items. The most important thing is that a substantial portion of these profits is directed towards charitable efforts.

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Another way that non-profits make money is through grants. Different grants are put in place to encourage philanthropy and without grants many of the big organizations you see today wouldn’t exist.

Some grants are issued by the government, but there’s also an increasing number of private organizations giving grants as well. These private organizations may do it out of the kindness of their hearts, but they also get visibility and branding benefits from giving out grants. It’s all fine and well as you can ultimately benefit from them. So, we would suggest that you start doing your research on various grant schemes right now and what would be needed to be eligible. Also, consider learning how to become eligible for grants and the main grant writing mistakes to avoid. Automation tools could also be very helpful here.


These are the most common ways for nonprofits to make money, but there are many more. So, if you’re serious about starting a non-profit, start studying all the different methods that you could use to ensure its success.


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