Does anyone have any advice for someone starting a nonprofit?

3 Answers

  1. Liz Alexander wrote on :

    The National Council of Nonprofits (http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/howtostartanonprofit) answers just that question. I particularly like their analogy with becoming an investigative reporter for finding some important answers, which is why I would advise you also seek out similarly-sized or subject-focused nonprofits in your state. Ask to speak with their executive director or whomever was there at its inception. It’s definitely important to visit with the “experts” in order to get all the legal and funding side of things bolted down. But we all know that in the real world the difference between success (or delayed success) and failure lies in all the little things that we don’t even think of asking. So, for these folks — the ones who have done it and can show you the way — ask broad, open-ended questions. Don’t get too specific with them. Questions like, “If you knew then what you know now, how would you have done things differently?” and “What’s the most important thing about starting a nonprofit that you know and I don’t?”

    People love it when others are interested in their expertise and can share wisdom with someone who is just starting out. Take advantage of that to go beyond “due diligence” in order to benefit from hands-on knowledge that is crucial to your success.

  2. LaurieKahn wrote on :

    I would search the Internet for articles and check with local officials to see what is needed to qualify in your area as there are different levels. There are attorney’s who specialize in setting them up. Also most states have a non-profit association which should help.

  3. lswart wrote on :

    If this is possible, try to create a financial plan that makes the non-profit self-sustaining ie. do good while making some money, This way, rather than applying for grants, you can go to Venture Philanthropy funds like the Acumen Fund http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venture_philanthropy to raise money, opening the door to a broader pool of capital to get your idea off the ground.

Are you an FOF Guru? Please to log in and post your response