What Should You Do Before Starting a Non-Profit Organization?


Quick Answer

To start a nonprofit organization, determine a need for the nonprofit to address, establish a business plan, research costs, and obtain sources of funding, according to the National Council of Nonprofits. Nonprofits must compete for limited funds and there are other ways to help a community's needs.

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Full Answer

In order to attract funding from grants and donations, a nonprofit organization must show how it is best suited for tackling a problem, explains the National Council of Nonprofits. Conducting data analysis and research into the problem may show that another organization or agency is already working on solutions. Assisting an existing organization as a volunteer or staff member may be more effective than starting a new nonprofit.

If a new nonprofit is the best way to help, then spend time developing a detailed business plan, states the National Council of Nonprofits. Know the fees and process for filing for nonprofit status, which can vary in each state. A nonprofit also has other costs like infrastructure, office space and supplies. Some services may require permits or certifications. The plan must also include a procedure for the day-to-day operations of the organization and strategies to obtain ongoing funding. Many nonprofits have budget deficits because they are unable to attract financial support.

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