5 Tips for Starting a Non-Profit

If your dream job is to launch a nonprofit organization that changes the world, or at least your community,…

If your dream job is to launch a nonprofit organization that changes the world, or at least your community, you have to work exceptionally hard to ensure the success of your dream. There are plenty of nonprofit organizations around the United States that serve some amazing causes and people, and you have to figure out a way to make your cooperative stick out from the rest.

With so many different groups serving so many causes, it can be difficult to find your niche. One of the big mistakes that organizers often make is failing to see their nonprofit organization as a business. Making a profit might not be your primary goal, but you still have to run things like a business. Continue reading to get some tips to launch a successful nonprofit.

1. Find your cause or calling.


As mentioned in the introduction, launching a nonprofit organization is hard work, but someone has to do it. The first step to starting your nonprofit is deciding what your cause and focus will be.

For the sake of this article, let’s use the example of an attorney launching a nonprofit for law school graduates, law students, college students, and high school students who want a legal career. The first step for the attorney in question would be to create a model for the organization that will dictate its operations.

It’s not enough to know merely who you want your organization to help‚Äîyou also have to develop a plan that details how you plan to help them. If your organization is for law school grads and current and future law school students, how will your organization help them? Will you focus on prepping them for the bar exam or offer internships at your law firm to underrepresented communities? Will you help law school graduates land their first job after law school or sponsor a fundraiser for law school scholarships?

Coming up with models for nonprofits is much like developing a business model for a small business. It can take a long time to get things running the way you plan, but as long as you have a plan, you have a guide to keeping your operations flowing smoothly.

2. You need the right enterprise infrastructure for your organization.


These days, there’s a custom software application for nearly any type of endeavor you could imagine, including nonprofits. These days, being successful in business and philanthropy means having a digital framework that allows you to operate your business virtually from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Engaging Networks is the premier online platform for nonprofits. They offer everything from peer-to-peer marketing tools and email services to social media tools. Engaging Networks even has tools to help you launch an online store for your nonprofit.

3. Build a dedicated and trustworthy team.

As critical as team building is in business, it’s that much more crucial when trying to launch a nonprofit organization. Even though your team members will more than likely be volunteers, you have to treat volunteers like potential hires. You need to make sure they have the values and work ethic you’re looking for to shape the culture of your organization.

4. Launch a marketing campaign.


One of the main functions of nonprofits is raising awareness. Since this is the case, before you can raise awareness around your cause, you have to increase your organization’s brand awareness.

These days, social media is the best way to attract potential supporters to your cause. As long as you consistently post engaging content and interact with followers, you can create a social media presence that will bring volunteers and donors.

5. Register your organization.

In order to legally receive donations, you have to register your organization with your state and declare your tax status. Most organizations fall under the 501(c)(3) statute, but there are nearly 30 tax-exempt statuses for different kinds of nonprofits. The key is to do your homework so you correctly register your company.