Ways & How

how to start a non profit charity

how to start a non profit charity how to start a non profit charity

Nowadays, we don’t have to look farther than our own backyard to find problems. Most people ask where is the government, and what are the authorities doing to solve these problems or address these needs. We hardly ever consider that no matter how helpless or alone we might feel, there is always something we can do. No matter how alone or how insignificant we feel, if we get started, we will find and attract others who feel the same way about problems as we do. We will find others who may be convinced to feel the same way, too. One of the best ways to address a specific need or problem we care deeply about is through a non-profit charity. But why not just plunge right in and do what needs to be done? Addressing needs one at a time as we encounter them will solve only one problem at a time and is usually useful only for that situation. If we want to create more lasting impact, benefit more people, create a greater good over a lengthy period of time, and have it be sustainable without draining our personal lives and finances, we need a non-profit charity. This begs the questions, what is a non-profit charity, and how to start a nonprofit charity? A non-profit charity is essentially a business with a benevolent goal, where profits go to address or meet a specific need or problem of a group, community, organization, etc.

The people who run it do not benefit from the profits. What are the essentials of knowing how to start a non-profit charity?

  1. Conscience. You must know what it is you want the non-profit charity to accomplish. Know it inside and out in your mind and heart. What problem or need is bothering you so much that you can’t rest until you know you’ve done everything you can to help solve it? What preys on your conscience that you need to deal with it? What good do you want to do in the world? When you know it for sure and you have a passion for seeing something done about it, you must write it down.

    That’s your mission statement. This is what you need to distill your organization’s purpose to the barest essence. Your mission statement should state what you want to do, who is involved, who will benefit, how you will achieve it; and at the same time, it should be short enough that a sixth-grader can understand. Your mission statement is your message to the world about what you do. It will also convey to potential donors, sponsors, and partners what you are about and help them decide to join with you in that mission.

  2. Conscientiousness. You need to be meticulous in doing the legal work required to establish a non-profit charity. Non-profits are regulated by governments and other bodies to ensure that funds and resources are used as intended and that donors, sponsors, and beneficiaries are not scammed or defrauded. You must make a viable business plan to ensure that the organization will indeed function well and be self-sustaining; it must actually turn a profit; otherwise, no money will be going to the charity.

    You need to assemble a board that will oversee the operations so that the mission is accomplished, the budget used wisely, and also raise or acquire funds. You must write bylaws to govern how the charity is run, define authority and organizational structure, clarify rules and how to address conflicts, etc. Then you need to register your non-profit with the appropriate government agency.

    Depending on which country you’re in, agencies and names vary, so find out where you ought to register your non-profit, know the requirements, and comply. After you are registered, you must come up with a fundraising plan. And you will also need to keep complete, accurate, professional business records. As said before, non-profits are regulated, and good business records will keep you from getting into serious trouble and keep your charity from losing credibility and the trust of donors and sponsors.

  3. Commitment. However great your passion is for your cause, how well you lay down the groundwork, and how good your intention is, you will encounter setbacks and obstacles. You need to put in a lot of time and effort to get people on board, and after that, a lot more to keep the momentum going. You will need to find sponsors and donors, raise funds, be visible and get the word out, create avenues for people to meet, talk, and support your mission.

    You need to find people who are as passionate about the work as you. And you need to keep going despite the difficulties. You need to be fully and absolutely committed to the good that you want to do in the world and not be sidetracked by anything that opposes you.

Starting a non-profit requires a conscience, conscientiousness, and commitment. These are essential components in understanding how to start a nonprofit charity. The fact that it is non-profit may be a deterrent to some, as they do not get any personal benefit from it. But if you believe in what you are doing, then do what you must do. Doing good is always its own reward.


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