Hi, I'm Joe Waters. Welcome to Waters Uncharted.

Later this year I'll mark my 6th anniversary running my own business, a nonprofit consultancy focused on win-win partnerships between nonprofit and companies.

A few things you should know about my business:

It started with a blog. I started thinking about my own business way back in 2004 when I launched Selfish Giving, a website and blog that shows nonprofits and businesses how to build win-win partnerships that raise money and change the world.

I waited seven years. I started my business in 2011 to be my own boss, chart my own course, have a more flexible work schedule and to contribute where I thought I could make the biggest impact.

I'm not a company man. I am the company. I consider myself unemployable. I'm not a good fit for the traditional workplace - or for other people's agenda. I want to do my own thing. My wife says I'm pretty stubborn. :) 

I make good money. I make the same salary I made at my last full-time fundraising job. But I work less and have more fun.

I make my money a few different ways. I make my living from writing, speaking, consulting and training. I also am saving more money. Jeans and t-shirts are cheap! I also don't have to pay $50 a day to park in downtown Boston anymore.

I enjoy working for myself. I don't miss the grind of the workplace, wearing suits, office politics or sitting in useless meetings. 

My laptop is my office. I work at home, at my local Starbucks or anywhere else with good wifi. I hire people when I need help with a project, but otherwise I'm a proud solopreneur.

I love the variety of my work. I get to work with nonprofits, social enterprises, agencies and businesses. I'm naturally curious and love learning about new things that benefit me and my clients.

I have a life outside of work. I'm a dad to two teenagers. I'm an avid gardener and reader. I have lots of interest besides work! I believe these things make me a better professional.

Are you naturally curious? Are you a voracious learner? Do you have an entrepreneurial, individual spirit? Are you a proud "improver" who is always striving to make yourself and a the world a little better? If so, you're in the right place.

I Get Asked All the Time How I Got My Start

During the summer, you can usually find me in my flower gardens on weekday afternoons. In this picture are clockwise Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, and Phlox. 

During the summer, you can usually find me in my flower gardens on weekday afternoons. In this picture are clockwise Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, and Phlox. 

And I just don't get his question from people from the nonprofit world.

I  was at the doctor's office for a routine test and was chatting with the lab tech about family and work. Of course, I talked about my work as a consultant. I could tell that he was impressed and interested in what I did, but he didn't say so at first.

But after my procedure, he pulled me aside. "What you do sounds very interesting," he said. "Could I do something like that?"

I told him what I've told plenty of others: "Of course you can!" With time, experience and training anyone can be freelancer or consultant. 

This is especially true for cause professionals who already have a background in social impact or nonprofit work. Yes, you are already an expert in some key area! It could be major gifts, grant writing, special events, CSR, annual giving, operations, social media, technology, content marketing, etc.

The #1 Reason People Are Stuck

The reason is simple: they have no clue what their next steps should be. If only someone could show them the way! Better yet, wouldn't it be great if someone could show them step-by-step how to do everything from making a few bucks from a side hustle to leaving the cubicle life forever and building their own six-figure consultancy.

That's the goal of Waters Uncharted - to chart a course for your success. I'm glad you're here. I like meeting other "unemployables"! The best way to get started is to:

  1. Sign up for my newsletter. You'll find the signup form right on my homepage. (On the top right of this page, click on HOME) It only take a second and I'll send you my cheat sheet: 10 Things to Do Before You Got Out on Your Own.
  2. Check out my coaching page. There are lots of ways I can help you! I'm just an email or phone call away.

Starting my own business was both terrifying and exciting (truthfully, a whole lot more of the latter than the former). While I can't eliminate your jitters completely, I can help reduce your uncertainty and anxiety. I've been where you've been and I did it. My teenage children tell me all the time that I'm not that bright. If I can do it, you can do it too. 

What Other Causepreneurs Think of Waters Uncharted

Joe Waters has been a leader in the nonprofit field for many years and is a top consultant. I've worked alongside Joe and have learned a ton from him. You will too! This is a great opportunity for nonprofit and for-profit professionals who want to become nonprofit consultants.

- John Haydon, JohnHaydon.com


Joe makes a point of only talking about the things he knows really well. One of those things is cause marketing. That's why he's one of the top consultants on win-win partnerships. It also makes perfect sense for Joe's to take the next step and teach people how to join him (and me!) as nonprofit consultants. Like cause marketing, Joe's an expert on the topic. If you're looking to make a move in your career he can help! 

- Pamela Grow, PamelaGrow.com


I regularly share the stage with Joe at conferences and he's the real deal. He's experienced and presents clear, actionable steps the audience can apply the very next day. I think it's great that he's showing others how to become GOOD consultants. You'll learn from the best! 

- Curt Weeden, CurtWeeden.com



The wonderful photograph of Walden Pond featured on my homepage was taken by Pablo Sanchez in 2008.