If you’re entrepreneurially-minded but like the idea of giving back to the world, starting a non-profit could be a great way to go about things. Non-profit organizations do a lot of good in the world and have a few special exemptions that make them somewhat easier to run from a financial perspective than a company focusing on manufacturing goods or selling a service. If you really want to start a mission-based non-profit organization, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Define your mission
At the heart of every non-profit is a clearly articulated mission statement. Your mission statement is the guiding light of your non-profit, helping you establish what your organization stands for and the type of work it does. By crafting a mission statement that speaks to the work you want to do and the change you want to make in the world, you’ll be well on your way to attracting like-minded individuals who want to help you succeed.
Come up with a compelling brand
Perhaps more so than any other industry, creating a compelling name for your non-profit is crucial. This is because many times a name and the way you brand your non-profit have an aspirational quality to them. You want to make sure that the name and graphics associated with your non-profit organization speak to your mission implicitly.
In order to communicate your mission to your audience, you should consider downloading an easy-to-use peer to peer (P2P) texting service such as Peerly. Peerly makes it possible to reach a wide number of people without losing the personal feel or ability to correspond back and forth. P2P texting is popular amongst political organizations and nonprofits, so you are on the market for a solid service they are an excellent option.
A huge part of embarking with a new organization is the drive and ability to talk with those in your community, build credibility, build rapport, and most importantly, just be friendly.
File for your 501c3 status
Once you have a clear mission statement and name, you’ll want to file for your 501c3 status. This is done at a local level and has several protocols that affect the way you structure and run your organization. For example, you’ll need to organize as either a trust, corporation or association in order to qualify.
You also need to do work that benefits others or the community rather than one sole individual like a traditional commercial business. If you need some help filing the appropriate paperwork and determining whether or not you qualify, it may be worth speaking with a local attorney in your area.
Find board members who push your organization forward
As your organization grows, it’s important to find board members who bring a unique perspective and skillset to your non-profit. There are many qualities of a great board member, and it’s crucial that you think about the way each member can help you move your non-profit forward.
While you want individuals who believe in your mission, you also need people who are passionate enough about your work to challenge certain ideas and come up with creative solutions to problems you may face. Boards are for more than raising money, and it’s pivotal that you recognize that as you invite new members to join. You can also consider posting on city specific job boards to get some traction, for example here: non-profit jobs NYC.
Buy the right supplies.
If you’re going to be creating a non-profit that serves others, you may need specific supplies that help you fulfill your mission. For example, if you’re running a religious non-profit, you may need a reliable source for bibles or other religious supplies.
Having a business you know and trust that specializes in these sorts of items, such as Cokesbury, can be crucial to your non-profit’s success. After all, if you give a bible to everyone who engages with your non-profit, your supply chain becomes mission-critical. Make sure to do your research and think throughout what supplies you always need to have on hand, so your non-profit organization is never caught off guard.
Interesting related article: “What is a nonprofit-organization?”