You Are Not a Unicorn (and you don’t want to be)

u·ni·corn: /yoona korn/


  1. a mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.
  2. something that is highly desirable but difficult to find or obtain.

There’s a lot of talk of unicorns in the nonprofit sector lately. Nonprofit professionals often refer to themselves and each other as Unicorns because they are doing something rare.

They are eschewing a higher paycheck; they have chosen to do good over being a corporate minion. They don’t work long extra hours for the money – they do it for a noble cause.

Unicorns are amazing.

  • Unicorns are Gentle (but Ferocious when challenged)
  • Unicorns are Strong and Powerful
  • Unicorns are Rare

Here’s something to consider:

Unicorns are not and were not ever REAL.

Casting yourself as a mythical, magical and rare creature is an insult to your abilities and strength as an individual. You are not a mythical creature. You do not need to rely on magical abilities to be unique and exceptional.

I argue this:

You are a rhinoceros.

Rhinoceroses are ‘perissodactls’, which means ‘odd toed ungulates’.  Horses are also members of this species. The word ‘rhinoceros’ means ‘nose-horn’. (a member of the same species as a horse and has a horn…unicorn?!)

Rhinoceros are amazing.

  • Rhinos are Gentle (but Ferocious when challenged)
  • Rhinos are Strong and Powerful
  • Rhinos are Rare
  • Rhinos are also
    • Tough
    • Stubborn
    • Fearless

And unlike a Unicorn, Rhinoceros are REAL.

You are not a Unicorn (and you don’t want to be). Embrace your Rhino self and charge ahead with changing the world as the strong, powerful, tough, fearless and REAL beast you are.

With affection from a fellow Rhinoceros,


Author: Aimee Sheridan

Aimee has spent the last 20 years in non-profit leadership roles; raising revenue, awareness and building community partnerships to support services that care for those in need. Aimee’s signature strength has been in working with stakeholders to create comprehensive, integrated fundraising and marketing plans. By using data driven strategies focusing and on execution toward the goals, she has been able to help organizations increase their revenue because they are working on the right activities as part of the plan.

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