Most people in general have a desire to help others, but it takes a special kind of person to start an entire organization dedicated to reaching out to others. If you're considering starting a non-profit organization, you may not be sure where to begin. After all, this isn't something that too many people have a lot of experience with. But before you start out setting up your non-profit, make sure you do a little preparation. Here's a look at three things you'll need to do if you're starting your own non-profit.
Determine If You're Unique Enough You may have a desire to have a non-profit that works in a specific area, but do your research beforehand to see what other non-profits are out there. If you have a non-profit that's similar to many others, you'll be competing for grant dollars, donations, and other aspect of business. When starting a new non-profit, you want to have a niche, a unique area that you focus on. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for a hard time.
Incorporate Your Non-Profit Starting a non-profit does require a little paperwork. But in the vast majority of cases, the benefits of being incorporated (like tax exempt status) far outweigh the time it takes. Incorporating a non-profit is actually very similar to incorporating a regular business, with the only exception being that you'll need to apply for tax exempt status with the IRS and your state's revenue division.
Run Your Non-Profit Like a Business A non-profit organization is still a business, and it needs to be run as such. You may have an intense desire to help people, but if you're running things like it's just a hobby, then you're setting yourself up for failure. Almost every business has a clear, established business plan, and a non-profit should be no different. Have a plan to get funding from donors and grants from the government, have a plan to recruit volunteers and board members, and have a plan on how your help will be given.
Starting a non-profit organization isn't easy, but the payoff can be incredibly rewarding. But all the good intentions in the world won't amount to much good if they're not implemented the right way. A non-profit does need a caring person at the helm, but it also needs someone who knows what they're doing. With a little research though, you'll quickly be on your way to helping your community.
If you find that now isn't the right time to start your own non-profit organization, but would still like to help people, consider getting involved in local non-profit organization for children, such as THE LOUIS HOUSE FOUNDATION.
These days, it can be hard for me to watch the news. It can be depressing to hear about so many earthquakes, terrible mass shootings, and awful illnesses. Fortunately, I have gained a lot of strength by working with my local church to participate in church service. Together, we have made hygiene packets for refugees and helped with other large service projects. This participation has helped me in my personal life, and it has strengthened my resolve to be a better person. This website is all about becoming better and staying positive through spirituality, service to others, and focusing on doing good.