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The Truth About Nonprofits and Multi-Level Marketing Programs
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The Truth About Nonprofits and Multi-Level Marketing Programs

It is amazing the number of people over the years that have contacted me with what amounts to overblown sales pitches touting wonderful “opportunities” for nonprofits to raise money. They realize that through my website, hundreds of thousands of people are exposed to the information I provide as a nonprofit consultant. In short, they want to have their program listed. Most of the time they want that done free, but other times I’ve been offered money or a percentage of sales. No matter what, my answer remains the same: Thanks but no thanks!

When companies tell nonprofits to get their members to shop using a specific website or call using a specific phone service, book a vacation using this company, etc., then realize you have just found a company that is looking for another way to find customers. This is not a company entirely dedicated to funding nonprofits; rather, it only wants to “use” you to get to others.

In general the promises for big money normally end up bringing in pennies, if you are fortunate. That mighty roaring river of money becomes an annoying faucet drip!

The number one reason behind this lackluster success rate is in large part due to the nature of how we as humans operate. It is hard to change a person’s behavior and get someone to do something totally different especially when there is no real benefit or payoff for doing so. When was the last time you switched toothpastes? When was the last time slept on the opposite side of the bed you normally sleep on? Were you one of the millions of people in January that said you wanted to lose weight and start going to the gym? Maybe you went a few times, but are you still going?

People need a reason to change and they themselves need to see a benefit for doing so in order for them to stick with it. If the only motivating factor behind making this change is to help a struggling nonprofit make more money, then this is most likely not enough motivation for the average person to make the effort.

I would welcome any nonprofit that has had success with a program to comment and let me know so I can tell others of your great success!

While I’m sure there must be some multilevel marketing plan out there that is legitimate, I know of none that have helped nonprofits in a significant way!

I urge any and all nonprofits or individuals that seek to get involved with a multi-level marketing organization to first read the information provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Final Thought

I realize some people and nonprofits are desperately seeking to try to find a simpler and easier way to solve their money needs.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these programs that promote dreams of “big money with little effort” are more of a fairy tale story than that of an absolute truth.

I realize that it is hard to view such situations objectively! However, for your sake and others, please stop before you hand over one dime, and ask yourself this question:

If the product or service is so easy to sell, then why would the company not just hire a sales force rather than trying to get someone like you to pay money to do the same thing?

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.