Are You Pouring from An Empty Cup?

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Mind Your Mission | 3 comments

Starting and building a nonprofit organization is a true matter of the heart.  No one ever woke up and said, “Gee…I’m bored, let me start a nonprofit.”  It just doesn’t happen! 

In fact, while it remains to be the GREATEST NONPROFIT MYTHNonprofit is most often associated with NO MONEY! 

Who would be so bored that they decide to start a nonprofit and there’s no heart or purpose behind it!  No one! Never! 

Nonprofits can and should in fact make money.  This is revenue, not to be confused with owner’s draw/profit (As seen in for profit companies).  A founder should not have to deplete their personal funds to operate their nonprofit organization.  While it’s viewed as a social service, it is still a business.  Name one business that spends money that it does not have and remains in business for years and years.  In my Katt Williams voice, “Don’t worry, I’ll wait!”  No business can survive under these circumstances.  Nonprofits included! 

Here is another question, “How can you pour from an empty cup?”  And if you are pouring everything you have into your nonprofit, “who or what is pouring into you?”

Here are the facts:

Self-care is self-love, not selfishness.  It’s more selfish to neglect yourself, because if you can’t help yourself, how can you help anyone else?  Even in flight emergencies, the flight attendant will instruct you to put the mask on your face first, then your child.  Placing the mask on your child first not only puts you in danger, but also your child.  When you pass out, how long can your child survive without you?

The parent and child may seem like an extreme comparison, but it’s every founder’s reality.  This is our passion, our purpose, a gift from God.  It’s our “baby” that we carried and birthed.

What loving parent births a baby just to starve it to death?  The myth that nonprofits can’t make money is simply false.  It nothing more than a misunderstanding of the term “nonprofit.”  And any founder who holds a position in the organization is entitled to and should be put on payroll unless they choose to sit on the board and have voting rights.

Nonprofits need funding to operate and simply cannot rely totally on grants and donations.  Consider your own household.  While many survive on just one income, I’m sure the preference is to have at least two.  How that looks may vary (two adults working, one adult working two jobs, or maybe it’s one job, a side hustle, and a rental property.  We also seek investment opportunities, book sales, blogging, etc).  If we identify that a small household of 3-5 people need more than one source of revenue, then it stands to reason that a nonprofit organization serving an entire community needs multiple revenue streams.

Did you know the average self-made millionaire has seven streams of revenue?!  Guess what?  So should your nonprofit!  If you’re nonprofit is not operating with multiple revenue streams, I invite you to schedule a call with a member of my team and let’s get you on the “road to revenue overflow.”

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Connie Bobo

Connie Bobo

Award Winning Nonprofit Leader, Serial Entrepreneur, Nonprofit Coach, Speaker, and Author.

Connie’s diverse background demonstrates her commitment to serve the community and her passion to see people thrive. She owns and operates three successful businesses and currently holds a bachelor of art in Corporate Communications and several certifications. She comes with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector where she enjoys helping community-based organizations strengthen their capacity and make a difference in the communities they serve. As the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Infinite Wisdom Business Solutions, Ms Bobo published an online coaching curriculum designed to help nonprofits gain more visibility and secure the funding they need to become more relevant. When she’s not hard at work, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with family. One paragraph doesn’t offer much information, but you can find out more about Ms Bobo by visiting her website’s “About” page at


  1. Brandon

    So much truth in this post! I have been guilty of “spreading myself to thin” and though it always comes from a place of love and truly wanting to help everyone that crosses my path – it has (at times) left me drained. So much so that the help you “deliver” isn’t so helpful at all.

    You HAVE to take care of yourself so that you can continue helping others!

    • Connie Bobo

      Exactly Brandon! So many people struggle with this simply because they don’t want to feel selfish. But self care is not selfish. It is our right! And if we are being honest with ourselves, it is also our responsibility. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I would love for you to stay connected and join our mailing list or our Facebook page! Best wishes!

      • Jonas

        We have to learn how to find balance between loving oneself and being altruistic. This can be a hard task. From my understanding, non-profits were created for the people to cover whatever area we feel that the government is lacking in, community wise.


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