November 1, 2021

What nonprofits say vs what they mean

Where's the lie in it though?

2 min read


What they say: “The community-level data you asked for is ready; we will compile it and send it across to you first thing tomorrow morning.”

What they mean: We will now be making frantic calls to our field assistant, so that we can get the data by 8 PM, after which the programme head will spend the night compiling it.


What they say: “We follow a five-year business plan.”

What they mean: The goals outlined in that business plan are likely to change every quarter.

a GIF of Anuskha Sharma, the actress, saying "What did you understand?!"-nonprofit humour
GIF Credits: GIPHY


What they say: “We have an exit strategy ready.”

What they mean: We just don’t know when the exit will happen.


What they say: “All you have to do is sign the contract for now, we will start the project even if the fund disbursement is delayed.”

What they mean: All we have to do is delay the entire team’s paycheques.


What they say: “We have adequate resources on our team, in case the programme head is unavailable.”

What they mean: Our CEO is the standby resource for all projects.

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Sumathy Krishnan profile
Sumathy Krishnan

Sumathy Krishnan is the executive director at a Bangalore based nonprofit, Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE). She wishes that fundraising should not be more complicated than the problems we use it to solve. She can be reached at