Importance of Small Nonprofits

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the largest nonprofits in the United States. In 2016, the hospital received more than $1 billion.

St. Jude Walk/Run in Utica, NY

Amanda Chin

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month during September, the hospital is teaming up with one of the biggest social media companies in the world, YouTube. In the past four years, this event, called St. Jude PLAY LIVE, has raised over $10 million.

Here is a clip of what to expect from this year’s St. Jude PLAY LIVE.

Meanwhile, Yamba Malawi, a nonprofit that helps orphans in Malawi, had a total revenue of a little more than $1,000. Melissa Kushner, founder of this organization, says she has a total of 15 staff members helping her out.

There is the argument that nonprofits are wasteful, and that they should just give up to allow a more significant number of large nonprofits to contribute to society. However, many also feel that we should be evaluating an organization on the impact it makes, not the size.

Large and small nonprofits both have advantages and disadvantages.

Large nonprofit advantages

  • Ability to partner with big organizations
  • Easier access to advertising through public figures
  • More exposure
  • Credible
  • More structured
  • More money

Small nonprofit advantages

It seems as though a significant amount of the challenges large nonprofits face is the exact opposite of what small nonprofits face.

However, if you look at the world we live in today, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of need.  In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Teddy Roosevelt

United States Library of Congress

Are large nonprofits just as important as small nonprofits? Do you think large and small nonprofits collaborating can benefit both organizations?

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