As COVID-19 rages across the country and hits several Americans economically, many businesses find themselves in a bind to keep up their finances. In the wake of this fiasco non-profits especially suffer from a sector that already struggles with maintaining financial stability. While many depend on donations and fundraisers, that means that those non-profits that were hanging by just a thread likely might not make it out of this pandemic. Hossam Gamea has extensive experience working in non-profits and Muslim organizations in particular, and has seen the toll COVID-19 has taken on them. He says now might be a good time for the sector to re-imagine how they seek to make money moving forward. Clearly relying on donations and the good will of people is an unsustainable model regardless of the pandemic.
Data shows that the sector makes up 10% of the economy but most of that money is with a very select few non-profits that thrive more on grants from philanthropists and foundations than they do individual donations.
This leaves the majority of non-profits who don’t have the name recognition nor the reach to justify receiving money from these big-name foundations in a dire situation. In light of these recent developments, one person suggests that this pandemic has exposed a gaping hole and flaw in the non-profit sector’s approach to making money. Hossam Gamea is a grassroots activist based out of New York City, and believes this is an opportunity for non-profits to develop alternative ways of creating income, namely through marketing and product development. In the past. He has worked as an author for The Tab, Traversing Tradition, and Medium. He believes that while COVID-19 is indeed a disaster for many businesses and non-profits, that it can be a huge boon to creative development and open a discussion on what better funds allocation within many non-profits should look like. His new venture, Gamea & Gamea, is meant to do just that. His goal with Gamea & Gamea is, “to help non-profits truly understand the power of marketing and branding and how much of a factor that can be in securing funds, donations, and even selling their own products to ensure financial stability.”
Now, many non-profits depend on pro-bono work, and volunteering to supersede their inability to fork cash up. But in a world where the economy is in shambles, its likely many people do not have the ability to exchange time they need to make money for their own survival in favor of volunteering for a righteous cause. Perhaps it is time for non-profits to face their complacency in just getting by through volunteer work and generous donations of a random donor they are beholden to, and focus more on actually trying to build engagement and excitement in their intended audiences with enticing products and effective marketing that doesn’t solely rely on guilt tripping.