Not too long ago, people grew up asking themselves about what jobs they would have. That went along with wondering how much money they would end up making. Nowadays, people ask themselves what kind of impact they’ll have on the world. More and more people are paving their own path to success, and measuring it in ways that don’t have anything to do with money. If starting a charity is a path you want to take, here are ten easy steps to guide you along the way.
1. You have to have a vision of your charity’s mission
Visions are qualitative rather than quantitative. It is a clear and concrete description of your organization, that includes, your mission, your service, and who you serve. Charities are similar to other businesses in that they have to accomplish a clear mission while staying true to their values, which also have to be clearly stated and understood by everyone in contact with the company.
2. You have to have a name for your charity
The name of your charity can be what you want it to be. It can be pretty straightforward or you can give it a personal touch. Certain names work better than other names, for example, Susan G Komen works better than a name like Red Cross, because it has a personal touch that plays on people’s need to feel like they’re helping others in need directly.
3. You have to have a distinct charity
This is a little tricky because there are over 1 million charities in the US. You will have to differentiate yourself from several charities that will be combating the same issues you’ll be facing, in order to be funded by the same people that other charities will want. They need to believe that your charity, that is quite similar to other charities, is better and can combat an issue more effectively.
4. You have to have a 5 year strategy plan
All companies need to have a several year plan, whether it is three years or five years, and it should be an outline. It should include fundraising strategy, operational strategy, a budget etc. It helps companies stay on track, and prevent or manage problems that may come up unexpectedly.
5. You have to register as a 501c3
Lawyer up! You need to become a tax-exempt organization. Lawyers and accountants will help you take proper steps during the process, which is helpful, because there are lot of government rules.
6. You have to have a website
On your website, you can explain your passion for the mission. You can have outlines of your goals and projects for people to see, but it is very important to have a website for fundraising purposes. Don’t put financial information on your website, because if people want that information, they can contact your organization.
7. You have to have a fundraiser
Yes, you can put in your own money, and can collect money from friends or family, but bigger donations from grassroots organizations, individuals, grant-making organizations are better. To get these donations, you will need to have several meetings, calls, and presentations. Different websites are good for teaching effective fundraising techniques, and they can also be used for increasing fundraising activity.
8. You have to have a team
Your team should consist of individuals who are better than you in different ways, because you can bring your own expertise to the table, but you will not know everything. They should have nonprofit experience. Among the people with resources and nonprofit experiences, your team should include people who are potential donors, significant donors, and people with contacts that aide in fundraising.
9. You have to begin your charity
Make sure you have some money to cover capital requirements, at least in the beginning, while also being able to cover the funds that go into operating. You will need to be frugal. It is necessary to keep cash flow going into the organization and not the employees themselves, or you will lose support.
10. You have to spend effectively.
This goes along with the idea that people want to help others because they feel good doing it. As soon as donors see an organization that is mishandling their money, they stop donating to the cause. People pay attention to overhead, and the ratio, while also having preconceived notions about overhead.