Is it your dream to open up your own non-profit?
Running a non-profit can be very rewarding. However, to run a successful non-profit, you need more than just the desire to help people.
At the end of the day, a non-profit is a business just like any other. Therefore, you need to put on your entrepreneur hat if you want to be successful. And to be successful, you have to start. So, how do you that?
Check out this guide to discover the top tips for starting a non-profit business.
1. Do Your Research
Starting a non-profit business all starts with doing the right research. Here are some questions you need to ask before you get started:
Can I Prove That My Non-Profit Will Fulfill an Unmet Need in My Community?
Garnering donations, earning grants, and gathering support will be a lot easier if you have strong evidence to back up the need for your non-profit in your community.
For example, if you want to start a soccer club for underprivileged youth, you should have an estimate of how many soccer players there are in the region with nowhere to play.
Are There Any Other Local Organizations Serving This Need?
You also need to research if there’s another non-profit in your area servicing your niche.
However, just because there are other similar organizations in your area, doesn’t mean you can’t start your non-profit. It does, however, mean that you’ll need to provide evidence that there’s still more need for the service you’ll be providing.
Who Will Join or Support My Organization?
Getting support from your community is a crucial step to running a successful non-profit. Therefore, you need to have a good idea of the type of people who will support your organization.
This will make it easier for you to market your non-profit and reach the right donors and volunteers.
2. Create a Business Plan
Once you’ve done your research, you need to create a business plan.
Your business should include the following:
- Summary: This is a quick overview of your business plan
- Products and Services: Will you be offering memberships, events, or merchandise to make money?
- Market Analysis: Explain your stakeholders, competitors, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses
You will also need to detail your financial plan and organizational structure. The organizational structure should include the different roles you’ll be hiring for, as well as what work you’ll be outsourcing. For example, you may want to outsource IT work to a company like Sagacent Technologies.
3. Select Board Members
Another important step in starting a non-profit is selecting board members.
When it comes to selecting members, you want to choose the right mix of people. Some of your board members should have financial resources, others should have connections to the community, and others should have special expertise (ie, financial, legal, marketing).
Before you hire board members, make sure you screen and interview them to make sure they’re a good fit.
4. Incorporate Your Non-Profit
Once you have your board members selected, it’s time to incorporate your non-profit.
To incorporate your non-profit, you’ll need:
- A business name
- A board of directors (as discussed above)
- A legal structure- Decide whether you want to be a trust, association, or corporation
- Address of the non-profit
- Statement of purpose
- Addresses and names of board members
Once you have this information, you can file for your incorporation paperwork.
Starting a Non-profit Business: Are You Ready?
Now that you have these tips for starting a non-profit business, it’s time to get rolling. Before you know it, your non-profit will be up and running.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more non-profit related tips and tricks.