Running a non-profit organization can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever go through in life. But before you decide on saving the world, here are four essential tips to consider.
In the Eyes of the Law
In general terms, the purpose of a non-profit organization is to improve the lives of others at a local, regional, national, or global level. Examples include disenfranchised communities like women, minorities, war veterans, people with disabilities, the unemployed, and children. In other instances, it is set up for reasons unrelated to human beings, such as protecting endangered species, the arts, or world heritage sites.
Still, just because the definition itself doesn’t entail a traditional business per se, it doesn’t mean that there are no legal aspects to keep in mind. After all, the operation is indeed making money, albeit not for commercial gain.
As a result, it would be wise to contact a reputable commercial or business lawyer to handle its specifics. Aside from helping you set up your organization following all existing rules and regulations in the eyes of the law, a solid partner will also assist you in navigating any tax and other administrative matters you may encounter.
Passion and Perseverance
Needless to say, if you are passionate about something, you will put a lot more effort into it. If you are a basketball player, but in the back of your mind you’re always thinking about baseball or soccer, chances are you will neither have the energy nor the motivation to excel. On the other hand, in most cases, people don’t need to be pushed and pulled to do something they love. It comes to them naturally for the simple reason that it makes them happy.
If you plan to dedicate yourself to the service of something greater than you, make sure you choose wisely. Whether it is education, science, gender equality, or animals, the more passionate you are about it, the bigger the difference you will make. In addition, when times get tough and you’re not getting the help you need or the results you want, that inner desire will drive you to stay the course. It will give you the strength to persevere regardless of the circumstances at hand.
The Value of Engagement
Previously we mentioned how a non-profit organization is not the same as a run-of-the-mill enterprise. But if you want to maximize its potential and make it flourish, you must treat it as such. And one of the best ways to do this is by using all the tools you have at your disposal.
In the 21st century, arguably the most effective way to market a business is online. Many corporations in various industries set up quality websites and open several social media accounts. Promoting their brand enables them to communicate with potential and existing clients in a two-way conversation. Furthermore, it is much affordable than a conventional advertising campaign.
Like anything else involving people, growing a non-profit is about networking and engaging with others. It’s about having a platform where you can voice your message to as many individuals as possible, be it in your building, neighborhood, city, or anywhere else. Only then will you be able to touch their hearts and, ultimately, their wallets.
All about the People
Any organization, be it commercial or otherwise, will only go as far as the quality of men and women running it. If the people you are working with share your goals and engage in their labor with discipline, honesty, and commitment, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Before you embark on your non-profit journey, verify that you have assembled an exceptional team. Make sure these individuals are not only great at what they do from a business perspective, but you see eye to eye with them as it pertains to your beliefs and your cause. And if there is someone more qualified than you to steer the ship, have the courage and humility to step down. The best leaders know when to take charge and when to let others get a hold of the reigns.
You don’t need a dozen workers to run a successful operation, especially initially. All it takes is a few committed staff to create something long-lasting and meaningful.
If you want your non-profit organization to prosper, do your research on the legalities involved and choose something you truly believe in. Finally, use the tools you have to engage with people and be mindful of the individuals working with you. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to making this world a better place for all.