Meeting the needs of the underserved by starting a non-profit can be a rewarding feeling. The first questions 🙋 typically asked are how and where do we get started? There is an easy answer to these questions, but first, we need to examine what goes into the planning and preparation of starting a nonprofit.
What to consider when starting a nonprofit
Starting a business of any kind can be a daunting experience. This is especially true of nonprofits, and cannot be done alone. Nonprofit organizations are legal entities and registered with the state and federal governments. Sounds heavy, right? And very much so, the process of forming a legal entity in each state has different rules and regulations. One important item to keep in mind is the tax-exempt status. This is a crucial step in the formation of a nonprofit entity. Once you become tax-exempt, you no longer pay federal and state corporate taxes. This is a big deal! The filing process can take months before receiving a determination. Unless you are a CPA who understands the Klingon 👽 language used to complete tax forms. You may want to consider a professional service.
What are your organizational values and mission statement?
Sounds like more work, right? And all you wanted to do was serve and make an impact, but certainly not before creating a mission statement along with the core values of your organization. And what is the organization’s strategic plan? And what barometer will be used to measure your success? I am pretty sure your head is about to explode 🤯 thinking about all of the things to consider.
Who are your board members?
Say what? Yes, this is a legal requirement. Board members are there to ensure you adhere to the laws and remain in compliance as a nonprofit entity. They assist you in managing the expectations of your mission statement all while making sure you stay financially stable.
Lastly and uber important, where does the money come from?
Now that you are an established nonprofit, you need money to operate, right? Because you are a nonprofit, the operational money comes from donations and grants. Applying for grants is not a one-and-done kind of deal. The grant application process requires consistent research and know-how. The grants you apply for must align with your organization’s mission and core values. This task sounds like you need to hire a full-time grant writer.
Leave it to the Subject Matter Experts
Mainstream Nonprofit Solutions can assist with all of these daunting tasks and more. They provide a full range of efficient and effective administrative services, so you can focus on the needs of your community.