3 Types of People Every Successful Nonprofit Must Have

Running a successful nonprofit is a challenging task that takes the talent and effort of many different types of people. There are 3 types of people that every successful nonprofit must have. Without each of these your organization will struggle to survive and reach its full potential.


The most obvious and essential type is the giver – a person who gives financially to support the mission and the organization. Every organization needs financial backing in order to sustain the operations and continue to deliver on reaching their mission.

Givers can be individuals who donate on your website or they may take the form of grants or even fundraising events such as auctions or galas. Understanding who your givers are – and attracting enough of them – is one of the fundamental challenges of running a successful nonprofit.


In order for your organization to flourish you need people to work hard to make your mission a reality. These people, whether they are your staff or volunteers, are the laborers.

Some organizations maintain a small staff and rely heavily on volunteers to accomplish their mission. These organizations have a large and constant demand for laborers in the form of volunteers – and they’ll need a process for on-boarding, training, and managing these laborers.

Other organizations have little to no volunteers because their laborers are paid staff. In this situation, the organization must be able to attract and retain skilled laborers, which can be quite challenging.


Every successful nonprofit has connectors – the people who help you make the right connections at the right time. Connectors spread the word about your nonprofit, promote your mission, and draw others into your organization. No matter what you need the connectors are the people who can help you take your organization to the next level.

Connectors are the missing link for many nonprofits who, by focusing so much on fundraising and getting things done, simply haven’t found the right connectors yet. For organizations that aren’t as mature or established yet, the lack of connectors can be a similar challenge.

Regardless of the age or focus of your nonprofit, you can never have too many connectors. Sometimes the right connection or introduction from a connector is instrumental to taking your organization in the right direction.

Keep this in mind that not everyone will give financially or volunteer their time and effort – but they might be willing and able to connect you with exactly what you need. Sometimes they may passively introduce a new and valuable connection whereas other times you may need to ask them to connect you, based on your needs.

The 3 Types of People Every Nonprofit Must Have

Here’s a Venn diagram that shows how these 3 types of people can help you create a sustainable nonprofit.

3 Types of People Every Successful Nonprofit Must Have

Without all three, your nonprofit will be unable to reach its full potential.

Givers provide the financial support your organization needs to continue and sustain operations.

Laborers do the work and translate your mission into a reality through their time and effort.

Connectors take your organization to the next level by providing the connections and resources for steady growth.

Take a minute and evaluate your organization. Which of these 3 types of people play the most significant role in your organization? Which type can you focus more on seeking out?