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What You Need To Know Before Starting A Non-Profit Business

Create your own career and support a worthwhile cause by starting a non-profit business. A non-profit business can still provide a salary for you and needed funds that can make the world a better place. Although starting a non-profit business might seem similar in some ways to starting a traditional business, special considerations, laws and regulations apply. The following tips will help you get started with the creation of your non-profit organization.

Know Your Mission

Non-profit organizations have grown in number, but they compete for a limited pool of grants and donations. If your non-profit organization simply duplicates the operation of a pre-existing non-profit, you might not have access to the funds you need. Do some research into the cause that interests you and see what gaps you can fill.

Know Your Business Plan

Like a for-profit business, a non-profit organization needs to have a written plan that defines its mission and how it will achieve objectives in support of that mission. The business plan will help you organize and operate your business, but it will also help you win the support of donors, win grants, and help your business get credit.

Know Your Structure

Non-profit organizations can assume a variety of forms. For example, you can form a non-profit association or corporation. You can also choose to become qualified as a tax-exempt organization, so your donors can use their contributions to help offset their taxes. After establishing the type of non-profit business you run, you must decide upon your internal organizational structure. When recruiting people to staff your non-profit, consider hiring people who have a master of public administration. People with education like that give your company the intellectual capital needed to serve the public with excellence.

Know Applicable Rules, Regulations and Laws

A legal framework exists to protect the public from fraudulent non-profit organizations, so compliance requires vigilance. Legal requirements for non-profits also serve to make sure organizations continue serving the good of the public. Although you can form a non-profit organization on your own, you might need to consult an attorney to help you make sure your company stays out of trouble.

Know Your Risk

Protect your new firm from liability by keeping good records, documenting your procedures, using acceptable accounting practices, and buying insurance. In many cases, your documentation requirements will exceed those of a for-profit company, so you might need to add team members to make sure your records can withstand the scrutiny that might result from lawsuits and other complications.

Operating a non-profit can help you earn a living while satisfying a critical role in the world. If you know these five things when starting your non-profit, you will increase your chances for a long successful future.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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