After my last 2 blog posts about how little money is circulating in parts of the do gooder world, you might be thinking, “Getting paid is not just that easy – how how are we supposed to do it?”
I’m no expert on monetization, but I have seen and experienced some things that work. I’m finding there’s a lot more to share than I realized, so this will be a multi-parter. Let’s start with:
If you’re serving a population with little money, chances are that very few of them will be able to pay you the hourly rate your work is legitimately worth.
However, by organizing events instead of delivering the service one on one, you can make your time more accessible. If you need to make, say, $100 an hour, there may be few people in your target community who can afford that. But if you get 10 people together, deliver it to them as a group, and charge them $10 or $15 apiece, suddenly it becomes much more affordable, and you haven’t given up your right to get paid.
These events don’t necessarily have to be in real life, either. Online events are on the rise: things like webinars and Ask-Me-Anything forums are becoming increasingly user friendly.
There can also be a fringe benefit to events. If you help people one at a time, all the weight of that is on your shoulders. But if you bring like-minded people with shared challenges together, they often end up helping each other – sometimes in ways you never imagined.
That’s basically the story of The Good Hundred Experiment. I started out trying to help people become become savvier do-gooders through one-on-one consultations. What I found was that very few people could afford it, most of them were not my ideal clients, and I felt an enormous amount of pressure to be the all-knowing expert.
Then came the Good100. With considerable help and support from Tad Hargrave and the Local Good, I’ve helped create an event where do-gooders come together and interact in ways that move them all forward as changemakers. We’ve heard story after story of how past attendees went on to use the learnings and connections to do more good. Everyone pays a very affordable rate, and they get a whole weekend out of it.
If each of those people had to pay for a whole weekend of my time, not only would it be prohibitively expensive, they wouldn’t get nearly as much benefit. This way, most of them can afford it, and I get paid.
Not only that, but we have enough left over to pay other service providers (caterer, childcare workers, videographer). That way, we spread the wealth to more people whose work we believe in, thus helping them out of the do-gooder brokeness trap as well.
It’s so much better than trying to get rich people to pony up an hourly rate. It’s even better than offering free consulting services, because it sustains us financially while still providing people with the benefits they need.