Thinking about starting a non-profit? Wanting to get started but nervous to take the dive and get started? Although the prospect of starting a non-profit may seem daunting, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we discuss what you need to know before launching your non-profit.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll want to be sure to consider before you take the dive and start your non-profit!
The number one piece of advice that you’ll hear from anyone who has started a non-profit before is to do your research. Although you may assume that you have a firm understanding of a non-profit or already know the details of it, knowledge is power and with the internet, you have everything available at your fingertips.
Be sure to save every piece of research that you find so that you’ll be able to look back at it later. If you have questions on anything be sure to do thorough research about it so that you fully understand it. It’s critical that before you start your non-profit you have a strong understanding of what it is and how you run one.
Choosing Board Members
You’ll need to have a board for your non-profit and you’ll have to have a board of directors by the time that you register your organization. Your board members should have a wide variety of talents and skills that will contribute to your organization and will give you guidance when needed. This means that, when it comes to choosing them, it’s important that you choose carefully.
What are some good qualities to look for in board members? For starters, it’s important to make sure that all board members are passionate about the mission. If they aren’t genuinely passionate about the mission and the cause of the organization, their heart won’t be in it, which is never what you want.
Secondly, it’s always good to keep in mind that you’ll want an odd number of board members. This way when it comes to voting and decision making you’ll be able to get an answer easily. Next, you want to make sure that the board members you choose are bringing more than just their money to the table. You’ll want them to be willing to participate in meetings and give input, not just give cash.
It’s best to keep away from putting business partners or too many family members on the board. Although it may be tempting at first, there are multiple issues that could arise if your board is made up of people that you already know well, especially family members.
A Fundraising Plan
Before starting your non-profit, you’ll want to have a detailed list of all costs to get started. You’ll start with up-front launch fees, which can quickly add up. You’ll want to have a detailed list of all this and make sure you have enough budgeted out for it before getting started.
The next important aspect is to have a fundraising plan for once your profit is launched. It’s important that you’re thinking of all the fees. You’ll need someone to create a website, do branding, and more. It’s important to decide on if you’ll have a fundraising event for your non-profit or if you have the funds to do it yourself.
Although we understand that this part of your non-profit may be overwhelming and confusing at first, getting started is the most important thing. Beginning by paying basic fees and having a working board, you can still make an impact.
Have A Clear Purpose
Your non-profit needs to have a clear and well-defined vision of its goal and where it’s going. You need to have a solid business plan to show potential board members and supporters. You’re going to need board members and you’ll want to have volunteers for your non-profit, which means that you want your community’s support.
Nobody will be willing to support a non-profit that doesn’t clearly define it’s goals and have a business plan. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to finalize your mission statement, your vision and your business plan instantly.
Usually, once you’ve decided on your board members they’ll give you helpful input on them, and then you can finalize it. It’s just important to have a rough draft that gives potential board members and supporters an idea of your plan and the future of where your non-profit is headed.