• Steve Martin

A Soup-to-Nuts Guide to Founding a Nonprofit


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According to financial researchers, nonprofits account for a whopping 1.8 million American organizations. Without a doubt, this country's citizens want to change the world for the better. If you're one of these altruists, running a charity of your own might be the most rewarding path forward. Here's a primer on achieving that goal.


Choosing a Cause

Your journey begins with picking a problem in need of solving. It's likely you already have an issue dear to your heart. If not, contemplate the wide range of missions that need your support, such as career training for the underprivileged, cleaning the environment, and ending diseases. There are even charities you'd never expect, like providing primate service animals to those with spinal cord injuries. The right cause means you'll never lose the motivation to keep pushing onward.


Getting Started

Approach your nonprofit from the perspective of a businessperson. For instance, consider how you structure your nonprofit. There are tax exemption differences between the many unique classifications of charities. Being officially registered makes it easier to apply for grants and public funding. In addition, you must draft bylaws that outline how your organization functions. Cover details such as manner of governance, frequency of board meetings, voting procedures, and what constitutes a conflict of interest.


Dealing With Money

Although caring about others is the motivating factor for entering the charitable world, cold, hard cash is what keeps these operations turning. One way of keeping everything straight is by making use of accounting software. Solid programs offer easy invoicing, track donations, and assist when it comes to general bookkeeping. They also provide the ability to organize expenditures by fund or program. When the time comes to make a presentation, designing custom financial reports becomes a snap.


Handling Logistics

One key to making sure everything runs smoothly is selecting the right individuals to provide support. An experienced executive with the skill to steer your ship often proves elusive. Hire an executive search firm to help fill this position. You'll also need others in charge of day-to-day operations. Attract and keep these workers by offering a generous compensation and benefits package, rewarding successes, and setting the right tone.


Boost volunteer involvement by spreading concrete descriptions of what you need to accomplish and providing comprehensive training. Make your opportunities as flexible as possible, and don't forget the importance of recording hours worked.


Have an attorney review your operation to assure legal compliance. Many pitfalls must be avoided, including employee misclassification, not following laws such as those outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act, and copyright infringement.


Raising Funds

One of your most vital duties will be soliciting donations. It makes sense to hire a professional fundraiser so you don't have to go it alone. Once you find the right person, negotiate a contract that outlines performance expectations. Make sure your agreement specifies who'll keep the donor list at the project's conclusion.


You'll attract more individual donors with an appealing marketing campaign. Logos leave lasting first impressions. Create free online logos with an online logo maker. All you have to do is choose an icon and then select your style. Put in your text, then tweak the results by adjusting the colors and fonts to your liking.


The satisfaction of building a nonprofit that helps to heal the world makes the endeavor inherently worthwhile. Having the right approach will improve your odds of doing the most good.


Thanks to guest author, Amos Faulker, for the information in this post. Amos wants to help people “do money well.” Money is a constant in our lives. Yet, as a bank teller, Amos realized that many people don’t pay enough attention to how much they have or how much they need, now and in the future. Well, the buck stops with his site, domoneywell.com. From teaching your children how to manage their money to saving for your golden years, Amos will cover it all.

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