I have a client that I’ve been helping to raise money from investors. It is a for-profit corporation that is successful and profitable. I am not exaggerating when I say that at least half of the people that I tell about this business assume it is a nonprofit. The CEO of this company has told me that a lot of people she talks to assume her company is a nonprofit. People don’t even ask if it is a for-profit or a nonprofit – they say, “oh, how can it raise money from investors given that it is a nonprofit?”
I have no idea why this is! Here are some possible reasons:
- The CEO is an African American lesbian and when people picture a for-profit business owner they don’t picture someone that looks like her.
- The company is highly mission-driven and working in a space that many nonprofits work in as well.
- Because I am a woman, people assume that my clients must be nonprofits (because a lot of people associate women with nonprofits rather than for-profits).
Has anyone ever assumed your for-profit business was a nonprofit? This has actually happened to many of my clients that are led by women.
I should mention that the people who assume these businesses are nonprofits are just as likely to be women as men.
What do you think this is about?!?!?
Please note that I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being a nonprofit and I have helped several nonprofits raise money from investors.