2020 has been filled with events from every angle. Millions have lost jobs and are in need of help due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students (K-12) do not have the necessary equipment to do school remotely, and political activists have taken to the streets for change. Honestly, there are too many to count. All these unfortunate events may be causing you to think of how you can help others, give back, or perhaps even form a non-profit. However, you may be thinking “is a non-profit the right route? Well don’t worry, we’re here to help you through the decision process!
Before deciding to start a non-profit you should ask yourself these questions:
- Do you plan to stick with it long-term or do you want to just focus on a current event?
- Are you willing to invest into its creation?
- Are there other non-profits that are doing what you are doing on a local level?
These are basic questions that you should be able to answer before continuing on the creation of your non-profit.
If you want to help fix a current event, or something that will be over quickly, it’s probably better that you donate or volunteer at a non-profit that is established and already has their foot in the door. Often times it is a matter of researching non-profits in your city or county.
Creating a non-profit isn’t free and requires time, effort, and energy. Before deciding to move forward, you should be willing to go the distance. From deciding its mission, how you will accomplish it, finding board members, paying the incorporation and application for 501©3 status fees, and completing day-to-day operations.
Lastly, you should look into non-profits in your local area that may be doing what your mission is. It’s not to say there can’t be competition, but it is very difficult to get recognition and support when there is another non-profit with time under their belt. You need to figure out what makes you different compared to them (services, quality of employees, the benefits of working with you, etc.) and capitalize on it.
If you are able to answer these questions confidently and are ready to take the next step in starting a non-profit, then congratulations!
To those of you who feel that creating a non-profit right now is not the right move, don’t worry! We recommend supporting local non-profits through volunteering and donating. Just because you aren’t ready to start one doesn’t mean you can’t help others and your community.