The NCCS has registered over 1.5 million non-profitable organizations in the United States. Numbers and profits are great, but nothing truly beats an organization dedicated to the community’s service and growth with nothing to gain in return. The great news is that you can run a nonprofit organization right from the comfort of your home.
A nonprofit organization or NPO is an entirely different type of corporation that runs different from your regular business. If you’re planning to establish your own NPO, then it’s essential for you first to know how to run a nonprofit organization. If you’ve owned a business before, then running a nonprofit organization will be a breeze.
However, that doesn’t mean that you need some degree of business acumen to run a nonprofit organization. One of the joys of running an NPO is that you don’t have to worry about numbers too much. That said, you still have to set some groundwork and deal with a ton of paperwork before you put the organization in motion.
In this post, we’ll be discussing how you can establish and run a nonprofit organization, even from home.
It All Starts With a Vision
The world’s largest nonprofit organizations started with a clear vision and purpose, and so should yours. The first step in establishing your NPO is to develop a clear vision and purpose for your NPO. Identify the people your NPO wants to serve and what it aims to accomplish during its operational period.
Make sure you develop your goal and note it down with eight words or fewer. Don’t use too many words, or it may blur your vision. This vision will serve as the foundation for your nonprofit organization.
Make a Business Plan
We all know that a nonprofit organization isn’t a business, but you still need a business plan to get it off the ground. That said, after defining a vision for your NPO, the next step is to craft a business plan.
Crafting your business plan takes a whole lot of deliberation and time. It’s essential to examine every aspect of your vision and find out what steps you can take to make it crystallize. To do so, you’ll need every member of the team to give his or her input.
First, determine all the resources you’ll need to make your NPO run as it should. Next, write down a list of everything you have to do and start working on it.
Define a Growth Path
Create a systematic and chronological plan for achieving your NPO objectives. Your goals should be clear, measurable, and realistic to make things much easier. A great approach for this would be to work backward from your goals; this saves you from having to do a lot of planning.
Also, ensure you collaborate with every member of your team so you can define a smooth and practical growth path. If you encounter any hitches along the way, you can always change your business plan to accommodate these obstacles.
Make Your NPO Corporate
You don’t always have to make your NPO a corporation, but most NPOs do. It’s a wise move if you want your NPO to acquire 501(c)(3) status. A 501(c)(3) status means that your NPO is exempt from tax because the IRS recognizes it as a charitable organization.
If you don’t incorporate your NPO, you can either register it as a charitable trust or an unincorporated NPO. These are great alternatives if you’re aiming for a short-term NPO, and you don’t require public support. You’ll also skip the lengthy process of incorporating your organization if you opt for the other alternatives.
Incorporating your NPO involves filing articles of incorporation with your state government. Check out your state’s website to know the filing procedure for incorporation. In most cases, you’ll either file it with the secretary of state or the attorney general.
Fill the required documents with all the necessary information. This includes the names, phone number, address, and purpose of the NPO. Try to be a little vague when defining your purpose so you can make changes to your organization easily. However, avoid being too vague, or the IRS will get suspicious about your NPO.
Obtaining Nonprofit Status
As mentioned earlier, obtaining nonprofit status is a rather complicated affair. However, it’s the only way your organization can get a tax exemption. It also proves to donors and the public that you’re a legitimate nonprofit organization.
Due to the complications of filing for nonprofit status, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer to do your bidding. If you can’t afford an attorney, then you can look for legal aid organizations to give you legal counsel with the entire process.
Assemble Your Team and Launch Your Organization
After obtaining your nonprofit status, all you have to do now is to assemble a solid team and launch your organization. After assembling a concrete team, delegate all responsibilities, and get to work. While you’re at it, also create an organizational structure for your NPO.
Manage Your NPO
Managing a nonprofit organization is more like managing a business, except it’s a bit easier. That’s because you don’t have to worry too much about profits. Your only focus is the smooth running of the NPO and its expansion.
That said, you should arrange your NPO just like a business for the greatest effect. That means you should have managers, directors, tea coordinators, and the likes. You can outsource for other services, for instance, if you need bookkeeping or accounting service.
As you grow, be sure to associate with individuals that’ll help bolster the growth of your NPO. It may take a while before your NPO gains traction, but sooner or later, your NPO will make a huge mark on the world.
That’s How to Run a Nonprofit Organization
Now that you know how to run a nonprofit organization, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Running an NPO requires a ton of dedication and hard work. If you put your heart and mind to it, you can make a significant difference in the world.
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