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5 Tips to Starting a Successful Non-Profit

2013 April 1
by Raffle Tickets

Starting a non-profit requires careful planning and thorough execution. It is a challenging endeavor, and not everyone succeeds in creating a sustainable and successful non-profit.


Here are 5 useful tips before you start your non-profit:

Make a realistic assessment of your idea

Being passionate about a non-profit idea is one thing, and being realistic is another. You need to assess the potential and viability of your idea in the prevailing economic conditions and environment. Financial sustainability of your non-profit is critical. You need to ask yourself tough questions such as: Is there a real gap or need that the proposed non-profit going to help fulfil? Do extensive research before going ahead with the implementation of your idea.

Make a detailed business plan

The more thoroughly you plan your non-profit in advance, the better the chances of its survival. Create a comprehensive business plan for your non-profit that includes the expected sources of funding, the central mission and purpose of the non-profit for which the funding will be utilized, and the estimated overhead expenditures, both fixed and recurring. Apart from financial budgeting, your business plan should also incorporate the marketing plan and strategies that will be used for fund-raising.

Determine how your idea will qualify as a non-profit

You not only need to have a great idea, but you also need to determine whether that idea is acceptable as non-profit or a charitable cause in the eyes of the authorities. You need to acquire information about how an entity gets qualified as a non-profit, how it may attain a tax-exempt status, and what procedures are required for its incorporation.

Fulfill all legal obligations before launching your non-profit

There are stiff regulations that govern the establishment and operations of a non-profit, both at the federal and the state levels. The government’s top concern is to ensure that any unscrupulous people may not succeed in duping the citizens in the name of a non-profit. Therefore, it is very essential that you fulfil all the legal requirements carefully before going ahead with your non-profit operations.

Initiate necessary alliances and tie-ups

Your non-profit may not be able to operate in isolation. You may need to collaborate or partner with other organizations in the pursuit of your non-profit’s mission and goals. Therefore, short-list the probable entities with whom it may be suitable to create mutually beneficial relationships. Initiate communication with them to know their response and their requirements. It will keep you well prepared so that by the time you launch your non-profit you can get going with your mission quickly, without losing much time and money.

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