When we find work we passionately believe in, we would do it for free. Of course that is an idealistic notion for most and exceptional privilege for those who can afford to do so.
For the most part, we as a society have accepted the connection between working for a nonprofit organization and receiving less profit as an employee than if working for a for-profit organization. Nonprofits perpetuate this model by cutting their overhead costs, and donors become skeptical when that is not the case.
There is a detrimental double standard in failing to sufficiently reward the highly skilled work of those in nonprofits. When we’re passionate about a cause, we’ll put our heart and soul into the work, regardless of personal benefit. For the “givers” who are compelled to do the work anyway, it feels inherently selfish to ask for more, as if taking away from the cause. But if we are truly committed to seeing long-term change, we need to rethink what nonprofit really means and how reforming our perspective on it as a business model can maximize our potential impact on an issue.