Planning to Start a Non Profit:Published on 9th March 2020
Planning to Start a Non Profit: Tips for Successfully Running a Non-Profit Organization
Human beings by nature are made for community and relationship. It is no wonder that most people feel that the solution to a humanitarian or developmental crisis is to set up a Non-profit organisation to implement change. However, statistics show that most businesses do not survive the first year in business and are non-existent within the first 12 months. Let’s be honest, as much as an act of charity is noble, the process of maintaining and staying relevant to the cause requires savvy business skills. If you are starting or planning to start a non-profit organisation then you should consider the following tips:
1. Choose a cause that is truly close to your heart – The first obvious step is to choose a cause that you will support if this nonprofit was not your own idea. You should ensure that this is something that you are passionate about so that you can work enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. There are people who seem to go with the flow in an attempt that the more people who support a cause, the more popularity
it will gain and awareness that it will raise. For example, they notice that supporting animal welfare is becoming popular or main stream so they start a company to support animals. While there is some truth to lending ones’ voice to support a common cause, the challenges of running a business soon separates those who can stay supportive for the long haul.
2. Create a mission and vision for your organisation – It is advisable to come up with a mission and vision of your organisation. This will help you to stay on track with your goals for the program that you are building. You must plan this mission and vision carefully because this will serve as your guide throughout its existence. A mission statement is generally a statement about why you exist, while a vision statement is an ambitious, usually future statement about where you would like to be. It is important that your vision is relatable, big enough to challenge and inspire and long term enough to gain and engage supporters for the foreseeable future.
3. Plan unique and responsive plans and campaigns – This is one of the areas where most nonprofit Organisations fail. In order to set up your organisation, gain a following and establish the real needs and most appropriate solutions to offer, you need funds. You need funds and you need to get creative about ways that you can raise funds. A good understanding of the issue and communities that you are working with can make this easier. Some of the things that you can do to raise funds are:
- Partner with for profit Organisations
- Request for volunteers or local supporters
- Fundraisers (including concerts, other community events and sales)
4. Be aware of relevant legislation – Non-profit Organisations are not exempt from the law. It is your responsibility to be conversant with and comply with the relevant laws that apply to setting up and running a nonprofit organisation in your area. Remember that compliance with legislation can be a strong point when a potential supporter or partner is assessing your credibility. If you need help understanding the minimum or maximum requirements, seek the help of a trusted solicitor in your area. Some firms even offer basic advice to NGOs for free.
5. Build an effective board – Last but not least, you need to build an effective board comprised of individuals who are positive and passionate about the cause. You should choose people that are responsible (not on a sanctions list or have a track record that could be detrimental to the integrity of your organisation) and effective. As a guide, your board should:
- Help with recruiting the executive directors who will oversee the day to day running of the organisation
- Be champions of the organisation and spread the word
- Help to develop the Organisations strategy and resource planning to ensure its execution
These are some of the things that you should remember when starting a non-profit organisation. It is
great to help others but you should make sure that you are clear about your vision and plans so your
organisation can remain in business for a long or as long as it is needed by the communities that you
seek to serve.
At Findev Consulting Ltd, we have the expertise to provide grant, financial management and internal audit that will help to put you in good stead for the excellence that you desire. This is so that you can get on with what truly matters to you and your beneficiaries.