Charities are a critical part of our society. They provide services to the needy, better our cultural lives, and protect our health. Some of us might have ideas for charities of our own. Here are some tips for starting your own charity.
You’ll have plenty of competition. There are over 1.5 million nonprofits registered with the IRS. There are quite a few classifications. Everything from the daycare down the street to the credit union that you use is a nonprofit.
A subset of 501(c) charities are 501(c)(3) are public charities and foundations. This includes organizations like the American Red Cross. They serve the public and not a subsector of the population. They’re funded by foundations, the government, and the general public.
Just like with startups, the failure rate of nonprofits is very high. Quite simply, it’s difficult to get a charity off the ground where it provides the founder a full-time job. There is stiff competition to acquire funds from grants. Foundations and government entities are inundated with applications.
Do Your Research
Some people compare starting a charity to a business. But you’re not selling a product, you’re asking people to help others. This is often a difficult thing to do. You’ll need a sophisticated approach.
You really need to ask yourself if there is a need for your organization. As stated, there are already 1.5 million nonprofits in existence. They already have the necessary infrastructure. Why should donors trust a newcomer?
Also, consider your background. Do you have the necessary expertise? Or should you acquire the necessary skills and revisit the idea in a couple of years? It should be a long-term goal and you shouldn’t rush it.
Will you have the necessary community support? Do you have enough startup funds? Who will you get future funding from? You could try creating a survey to get an idea of what people think.
Legal regulations protect donors, and for good reason. We don’t want charity money to just be used for personal expenses. Meet with a lawyer to get your charity set up. You can then set up a bank account for your nonprofit.
Create Fundraising Plan
For most non-profits, a bake sale is not going to be enough to fund your operations. Fundraising is complex and very competitive. Think about hiring a grant writer or take a grant writing course yourself.
Starting a charity can be very difficult. Fortunately, there are strategies you can employ to make it easier.