The world needs more nonprofits, especially now. With so much of government in gridlock, it seems like the only way to provide youth with better educational services, enrich others’ lives with arts, or help the poor, homeless, or military veterans is by supporting nonprofits with local missions to serve those communities. If you’ve got a strong vision for how you could create a nonprofit organization to make the world a better place, there’s never been a better time to get started.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about starting a nonprofit for a while, but you weren’t sure how to go about it. This is understandable, since the prospect of starting any new business is daunting, and nonprofits have an extra set of rules stay apprised of when they’re established. That being said, creating your own 501c3 organization isn’t impossible.
The following tips will help you launch your charitable organization with ease.
Craft a mission statement.
One thing that’s different about starting a nonprofit rather than a for-profit corporation or company is the fact that the missions are different. While a traditional business’ main goal is to make money, nonprofits are aimed at providing a social service or good to a specific community. As such, it’s important that you have a clear mission statement that expresses what your organization’s main goal and purpose is. Many states will require that you share your mission statement when you file paperwork to incorporate as a nonprofit, so it’s important to come up with an accurate, aspirational way of talking about what your nonprofit does.
Find a board of directors.
Not all commercial businesses require you to have a board of directors, but for nonprofits, having a board of directors is crucial. Most cities require you to have at least three members of the board, with one member serving as the board president, one serving as the treasurer, and one serving as secretary. There are specific regulations about what activities a board member can and can’t do when working with conjunction with your nonprofit, so be sure to do your research before extending offers to potential board members.
Leverage technology to build your nonprofit.
One aspect of running a nonprofit that doesn’t always get talked about enough about is having the right resources. After all, many charitable organizations are run with a smaller staff than they would if they were a corporate entity. As such, things like software can go a long way in helping your team stay productive without burning out. When it comes to software solutions built specifically for nonprofits, Engaging Networks is a leading developer, with a suite of tools specifically tailored to help nonprofits use practices like email marketing to see substantial increases in donors and fundraising.
With innovative ways to both fundraise and create email marketing campaigns, the tools Engaging Networks has crafted are incredibly beneficial to new nonprofits. Especially if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to boost your institution’s productivity, such a suite of tools and new features is a cost-effective way to increase your overall capacity even if you have a small team. Engaging Networks brings a new approach to fundraising and donor management, so you’re able to make sure your email marketing and fundraising efforts are operating with exceptional performance. This is key for nonprofits. After all, without successful online fundraising and a core network of donors, you can’t carry out the goals of the mission you’re passionate about!
Work with a CPA who’s up-to-date on the latest certifications.
One of the biggest hurdles to being a non-profit organization comes with filing your taxes. As a non-profit organization, you’re able to qualify for certain tax exemptions and other benefits. However, it’s important that you can illustrate that you weren’t breaking any rules regarding how money was raised and what it was spent on in order to retain your tax-exemption and non-profit status. As such, it’s a good idea to have a CPA (certified public accountant) help you file your taxes and independently audit your books each year. This can help you avoid any nasty audits from the IRS. If you need to make sure that your CPA has the latest information, be sure to look into CPE solutions that help you ensure that the accountant you’re working with is compliant with the latest certification requirements in your state.