Starting a nonprofit takes work and heart. This isn’t a task taken to gain personal profit. It’s one that makes a difference. Be careful, though, not to jump in too quickly. You’ll need a plan, funds, and help. Consider the following as you tackle this rewarding undertaking.
Create a Mission Statement
Before diving too far into work, step back and consider a few points. Is this service needed in your area? How will it improve your community? What specific needs should be addressed first? As you answer these questions, craft a mission statement. It should act as a guide for your journey. Print it up. Share it with others. It’s a great tool to maintain focus and encourage others to see your vision.
Put together a board of directors. Ask people of various professions and backgrounds, who share your passion, to join the cause. It’s helpful to work with people with whom you feel comfortable. As a team, work from the ground up to build an productive organization. Recruit someone who specializes in finance, and it may even be wise to invest in a form of software such as mip fund accounting. This can assist with maintaining a budget and working with payroll (should you accrue employees). A marketing specialist is beneficial as well. This person should spend time getting into the community to promote your cause.
You’ll be able to afford to pay some employees, but nonprofits need extra hands. Volunteers keep it running smoothly. Ask around the community for help. High school students are often looking for opportunities. They use the hours on college applications or for graduation requirements. Make sure you have rules established. Go over them before anyone starts, and (if working with kids particularly) perform background checks. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
This is a good cause. Don’t rush it. Set small goals, and work to create a wonderful end product.