Do you want to start your own non-profit? Do you have a specific cause that you want to teach the community about? Here are some things you should consider before beginning your journey. The following tips will help you avoid making any potential mistakes and get your organisation off and running.
Determine the Need
Your sole reason to start a non-profit isn’t because you want to feel better about yourself. That’s never a good reason to start one. Determine your need for a starting a non-profit. Make sure you’re filling a need in the sector or you’ll be up against competitors that deliver a need to a certain community or group.
Do a simple Google search for other non-profits like yours in Australia. Or, you check out the website Pro Bono Australia to find out what other charities are doing in your area. This can help you determine a need and find out what you can do better than them. You should figure out if there’s already an organisation that’s doing what you’ve been wanting to do.
Engage With the Community
if you’re going to start a non-profit, you’re going to have to engage with your community. That means getting yourself out there in the public eye. Most organisations and non-profits work directly with the communities they serve. Make sure that your team members are involved with your organisation before getting involved with your community. Your non-profit could quickly fail if no one puts effort in it.
Create a Strategic Plan
The next thing you should do is come up with a strategic plan. These plans help you find out what these organisations exist and what goal they’re trying to achieve. Creating a strong strategic plan can help your organisation stay on track in its first years of operation. Your business plan should include your goals, mission statement, objectives, and vision that can help you meet these goals.
If you never created a strategic plan before, reach out to a business colleague to help you through the process. Even Pro Bono Australia has a website called Volunteer Match that connects people with non-profit who are looking for specific services.
Don’t Get Founders Syndrome
When you start your non-profit, you don’t want to get founders syndrome. This happens to a lot of founders of non-profits, organisations, and startups. Some common symptoms of founders syndrome include hiring your friends and colleagues to work for you. The identity of your non-profit becomes your sole personality. You may also prevent others who want to be involved with your non-profit. In other words: don’t let your organisation go to your head and only hire people who are qualified to perform the job.
Protect Yourself Legally
If your non-profit delivers services or goods to your community, you want to make sure that your organisation has insurance and is incorporated. You should also receive a deductible gift recipient (DGR) before you receive donations, grants, or other types of funding. Donation software can help you determine your donation goals, accept monthly donations on your website. You can accept donations via Apple Pay, ACH bank transfer, credit cards, and PayPal.
Assign Team Members
You want to hire a group of people who are diverse, talented, and committed to your cause. They should be interested in helping you reach your goal. Some founders want to do everything themselves while others want to hire their friends and family members. You can’t do everything yourself and it’s something dangerous to work with those closest to you.
Before you start your non-profit, you should have an administrative and financial department. These group of individuals should help you with the accounting, budgeting, and adopting a code of conduct for how you operate as an organisation. It’s important to establish policies and procedures and ensure that everyone follows them.
Set Yourself Up for Failure
Starting a non-profit can be a complicated process if you don’t go through all of the steps. Many organisations don’t last after a few years of operation. Come up with an exit strategy for yourself and the stakeholders who work with you. Plan for failure even if it doesn’t happen right away.
Remember to make the most with what you have. You can use your voice to bring awareness to a specific cause. It can be made possible as long as you take the right steps to start your non-profit organisation. The Internet has plenty of resources that can help you out. Whether it’s creating an online presence or writing content, there’s a resource for everything.