What Are Some Complications of Starting a Non-Profit Organization?

Some common complications that arise when starting a non-profit organization include finding sufficient funding, creating clear and actionable goals, recruiting the proper amount of volunteers and understanding local and national laws. Many organizations also deal with hostility from local community members or other organizations, depending on the purpose of the group.

One of the most significant issues that a newly forming non-profit faces is raising money, including enough to pay its bills and to fund its initiatives. As with a for-profit business, the non-profit needs to pay a set of operating costs to enable day-to-day activities, such as rent on office space, utility bills and paying employees. After covering these costs, the non-profit needs to have enough money to complete its mission, which may be supplying the homeless with food, training veterans or visiting underprivileged schools to offer supplies. In all instances, the actions require a set amount of money, which usually comes from donations or a specific revenue stream.

Many non-profits also struggle to understand and comply with regulations and laws, ranging from how to file taxes as a non-profit to compliance with regulations on food or goods distribution. Staffing is also a major hurdle for new non-profits, both in hiring employees and locating volunteers. Many new organizations do not carry the clout or security to convince people to participate. Similarly, many community members may not trust a new organization claiming to offer help.