Guest post by Susanne Loxton
If you’re the kind of person who has always had a deep yearning to do all that you can to make the world — or even your community — a better place, then you’ve probably thought about starting your own nonprofit organization. Maybe the only thing stopping you is not knowing where to start.
In this blog post, you’ll learn foundational tips for setting up your very own nonprofit organization, so that you can become the change.
Do your research
The first, and the most, important step in setting up a nonprofit is doing the necessary research. That means putting in time and effort: you’ll need to think long and hard whether the cause you wish to fight for is needed in a given community. If you duplicate an existing service in your area, it’ll be harder for you to get support and funding. Do as much research as you can before taking the next step.
Begin to build
As soon as you’ve figured out that there’s a strong need for your nonprofit, then you can begin building its foundations. That means picking an available name, writing an extensive nonprofit business plan, designing a logo, etc. Arguably one of the most important components if this step is putting together your nonprofit mission statement, which communicates what your organization stands for to the public.
Recruit a board of directors
When you feel your organization is beginning to take shape, start thinking about recruiting a board of directors. You should bring on 4-5 people and aim to recruit board members who have a lot of experience in the nonprofit field.
Seek legal advice and guidance
While having a well-experienced board of directors will help, it’s still necessary to seek legal counsel to guide you through the process and paperwork needed.
Your board of directors can help you take care of the respective needs of your nonprofit — like finances or social work planning. Ensure you determine which areas you’d like your board to take over, and then work toward onboard the right specialists from your field.
Meanwhile, legal counsel can help you take the steps needed to obtain a 501(c)(3) status, which will allow you to be legally recognized as a nonprofit organization and begin fundraising.
Create a fundraising and marketing plan
With your newly selected board of directors, you’ll need to begin forming a strategy on how to make your nonprofit organization live up to it’s mission statement. Create an in-depth fundraising plan and a marketing plan so that your future operations run more smoothly.
Leverage social media to spread the word
Once your nonprofit is up and running, social media can help in countless ways. Plus, if you utilize it correctly, fundraising and spreading the word won’t be as hard as you might think. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to reach millions, so use them to your advantage. You can also leverage sites like YouTube to spread your cause message — it’s free and easy-to-use, and can engage people directly.
Setting up a nonprofit isn’t the easiest task in the world, but it’s certainly one of the more fulfilling and enjoyable roles that exist. Use this article as a helpful starting point and become the change you want to see in the world.
Author’s Bio: Susanne Loxton is a travel enthusiast who combines her love for adventure with a passion for writing. Susanne works for Aubiz — a compendium of knowledge about companies in her native Australia. Follow her on Twitter: @LoxtonSusanne.