The world of business is ruled by profit. Maybe that’s why newcomers and experienced business people alike are increasingly turning to the non-profit sector. Working for reasons other than money can be incredibly freeing and liberating. That doesn’t mean it’s any easier though!
So, what is a non-profit organisation? Well, any business that doesn’t exist to make a profit, obviously. That means charities and community projects mostly. A non-profit has a specific aim or goal, and the goal isn’t to make money for trustees or shareholders. So, if you’re looking to start your own, here are some essential tips.
Offer Something New & Different
There’s little point in starting up a charity in an area that is already well covered by existing charities. You’ll just crowd the market and spread the money more thinly.
Instead, find an area that is currently being neglected by the non-profit sector. This will mean doing a lot of strenuous research, but it’ll be worth it. You don’t want to make a mistake so early on in the process.
Plan in Detail
Planning is essential. Non-profit organisations may be different to for-profit businesses, but they’re similar in a lot of ways too. Drawing up a detailed plan is essential whether you’re out for profit or not.
If you don’t have money coming into the organisation, there is no point in it existing. The point is to raise money for your chosen cause. If you’re going to do that successfully, you need to plan in detail.
Make Sure Everything’s Above Board
Tax relief can help people wanting to start up a non-profit, but you still need to make sure you comply with all the regulations and rules out there. Being a charity won’t get you off the hook if you do something wrong.
In the past, charities have been used as cover for criminals wanting to commit fraud, so there are strict guidelines in place. Make sure you read up on them before you start.
Look for Innovative Ways to Raise Funds
There are lots of ways in which charities can raise money. So, let’s start with the basics. You can set up a website and phone line through which people can donate. If you set up a phone line, 03 numbers are good for charities because the charges are low.
But you also need to be looking for more innovative ways to make money too. Try running events and competitions that generate money and spread the word about your charity.
Hire Great People!
Like any company, you won’t get very far if you haven’t got an army of great people working for you behind the scenes. Ideally, these people will be passionate about the cause you’re all working for.
This shouldn’t be a big problem though, it’s a lot easier to feel passionate about charity work than ordinary business work. Your employees should still act professionally and be able to undertake the job at hand proficiently though.
Running a charity is a noble endeavour. It takes a lot of time, energy and planning to get right though. If these tips have helped, get started as soon as possible.