The services that nonprofit organizations render to society are priceless. Personal circumstance may inspire you to start your own to make a difference in the world. You may have a praiseworthy cause and lots of passion, but there is one thing you have to remember: Nonprofits are still businesses.
This fact means that despite the nonprofit status, the company must still run like a business in most ways. If you are not business-minded, then you may want to review these tips to help your nonprofit succeed.
Perform background research
Before you even start thinking of names and filling out forms, you must first determine if your charity is necessary and different. Copying what others are already doing not only can make getting support difficult but also can create competition for the cause that is the whole reason for your nonprofit. Do your research, advises the U.S. Small Business Association, to find out what unmet needs your company can fill in your community. Decide on your core values and goals to ensure you stick with your vision, especially when things get tough.
Although you are not making profits, you still need money to run the organization, and it can be more expensive than you realize. Examine all avenues of funding to see if success is feasible. You may have to reshape your idea to make it more achievable. Then draw up a business plan to show how you will reach your goals. Remember along the way that financial ups and downs can be normal and that sticking to your values will help you attract the right donors, shares Forbes.
Create a strong board
Nonprofits require a Board of Directors who are responsible for the following:
- Assist in sound decision-making
- Ensure the business acts in its own interest
- Maintain compliance with laws and commitment to purpose
Recruit the right people and provide ongoing training.
The rest of the steps are best to do with professional legal help to ensure you choose the right business structure and receive tax-exempt status.