Orange County



May 9, 2016

5 Myths About Nonprofit Services

There are a lot of misconceptions about nonprofits and the services they provide. To help, we’ve outlined the top five myths. By debunking these, we hope to enhance your future partnerships with nonprofits.


Myth 1: Free or Low Cost Services Are Not Good

When you start diving into the world where services are free or low cost, you often are met with up turned noses. Many people have the notion that there is no such thing as free. As for low cost, those must be terrible services.

The nonprofit world turns these notions upside down.

Nonprofits provide free or reduced cost services to help you on your journey. More often than not you will be met with top caliber professionals who chose the nonprofit route to make a difference. At the Virtual Counselor’s Network, we work with the best providers in the region. Our top priority is to serve you. We take that very seriously and only partner with highly skilled professionals. 


Myth 2: Nonprofits Will Do All the Work

While this is a nice thought, it’s not the case. Our role as a nonprofit is to empower you to navigate your current life transitions. This does not mean that you come see us, sit back, and watch us as we work miracles.

Many of the issues we help clients address are complex. When we partner with clients to improve their financial skills, it can take months before clients have an emergency fund saved. When it comes to the dream of buying a house we can be working with clients for years. These goals will not be accomplished unless our clients are completely invested in creating change.

We give you tools and industry insights to help you on your journey. You still need to be the leader on that path.


Myth 3: Nonprofits Can Only Tell Me What I Want To Hear

Trust us; we would love to only deliver good news. As nonprofit providers, we wish we could wave a magic wand and stop a foreclosure or undo a job loss. Unfortunately the system doesn’t work that way.

We give you honest assessments of your situations. Many times this comes out as a reality check that clients have a hard time cashing.

While the truth of the situation may be hard to hear, we are here to help. Once we identify the challenges, we work with you to create a manageable action plan.


Myth 4: You Can’t Tell Me No

Oddly enough, some individuals believe that all nonprofits are completely funded by the government. If an organization is funded by the government, then they are unable to tell them no or not provide services.

Spoiler alert, we are not solely funded by the government. In fact, there are few nonprofits completely government funded. Unlike the DMV or the country clerk, nonprofits can say no to working with patrons.

Sometimes you encounter organizations that are currently helping as many clients as they can. They physically do not have the capacity to add anyone else. Other times, nonprofits turn down clients who are disrespectful or unreasonable.

The best rule of thumb when working with a nonprofit is to treat the providers with respect.


Myth 5: Nonprofits Should Not Charge Fees

This walks hand in hand with myth four. In reality, there are two reasons nonprofits charge fees. First is to help cover the cost of providing the service. While nonprofits do not aim to profit off of providing services, they do have to keep the lights on and remain operational. Many times, offering reduced costs on services is one of the ways they achieve this.

The second reason is for your benefit. We value services that we pay for more than free services. It’s a weird psychological occurrence. It’s because you invested into the service so you want to get a return on that investment. When you pay for a service, even when it’s a reduced rate, you are more likely to use the service to the fullest.


Your Nonprofit Partner For Life’s Transitions

At the VCN, we connect you with top preforming professionals who are able to give you specific help with what you are struggling with. By working with our counselors, you will be able to create a game plan to work through you all of life’s transitions and achieve your dreams. 

If you are struggling in an area of your life, connect with one of our counselors today.