Common challenges holding non-profits back and here’s how to tackle them

The challenges faced by non-profit organizations
Non-profits do great work, but they also face many challenges. This article will identify these challenges and suggest ways to tackle them.

Non-profits are public charities, foundations, and groups which address a social cause. They are not intended to make a profit, and their objective is to provide a service that people need in different areas such as education care, healing, housing, and funding to those who need it.

The Kingdom has several prominent non-profits including the King Khalid Foundation, which works at a regional level, providing other non-profits with tools and knowledge for growth. The Ensan Charitable Society for Orphans aims to provide care and support for orphans, along with providing them with an education that will qualify them to work in all sectors in The Kingdom. 


Non-profits exist through donations, grants, selling goods and services, and fundraising where all the money raised has a direct impact on the communities they serve. Their work may be more obvious in extreme cases, for example helping people struggling due to conflict, but their work on a local level, such as how Ensan distributes food baskets to the less fortunate, is just as crucial.


Here are the key challenges non-profits face:

  • Lack of funding 

Non-profits rely on donations and grants. However, the goal of a non-profit isn’t to make money, it’s to make an impact, and with greater resources, they will be better equipped to serve the community. Without funding, non-profits simply do not exist.

  • Staffing and building teams

Many graduates or job seekers prefer working in the private or public sector as salaries tend to be higher. People working in non-profits tend to have a heavy workload, and many will admit they entered the industry purely because they are passionate about the project.

  • Growth

To grow, you need investment, and non-profits rely on attracting and retaining key donors to support their work. Forbes suggests hosting fundraisers, or, if you’re nervous about approaching donors directly, there are other ways you can establish deep and meaningful relationships as a way to encourage donors and achieve growth. Forbes suggests, ‘Whether you're already established or just starting out, remember that you should send out social media updates, testimonials, thank-you letters and invites to tour your space on a regular basis.’ The aim should be to build long-term relationships with people who are passionate about the work of your non-profit and to facilitate stable support.


How can the non-profit sector tackle these challenges?

A clear mission statement; A strong mission helps attract donors and investors. It also clearly states your purpose for your community.

A reliable data and information system; Accurate data ensures trust and will attract donors, documented data also improves the level of support an organization can provide.

Use of  technology; Social media, email, and WhatsApp messaging. Being flexible and open to tech ensures organizations can operate more efficiently.

Technology is an integral part of our daily lives, and it enables non-profits to attract a greater number of donors, by reaching people not only locally, but also globally. It’s also important to train your teams to use the tech that will allow you to keep pace.



Once your group has aligned on messaging you can spread awareness. A marketing plan is key to the long-term success of a sustainable organization. Publishing ads and using social media is crucial to spreading awareness for your goals, and how you work, and will ultimately encourage support for your group.

Talk to people around you, and speak to friends and family about how you can further spread your message. You can post online ads, leverage your website, host virtual events, or simply use social media and post consistently to build your followers. Figure out a way that you can regularly check in with people online, and build a community of like-minded people who want to help.

Retaining teams

Skilled, happy teams are the basis of all major successful businesses. Employers need to train teams to ensure they have the skills to complete tasks effectively. Managers must also inspire their teams. Salaries in non-profits are lower, but employees can feel job satisfaction with a sense of purpose, which is led by management.


Non-profits support society on an ongoing basis. They play a fundamental role in creating more equitable communities, but with great work comes great challenges. As the need for non-profits increases and the scope of their works expands, there are some key challenges that stand between non-profits from providing even greater support for the community. 


However, the challenges faced by non-profits are not insurmountable. Regardless of the size of the organization, adapting new tech, and putting your people first should help tackle the most common challenges they face.


To support mature non-profit organizations, Misk has introduced a 5-month, Youth NPOs Accelerator program. The Program aims at supporting mature, youth-focused non-profit organizations to accelerate their growth and scalability to deliver greater social impact. 


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