- What problem am I trying to solve?
The internet allows you to see various challenges affecting humanity and a cause you can champion, both locally and internationally. However, you must somehow research the causes you stumble upon on the internet because someone might have already started a nonprofit in the same area. Ask yourself what specific problem you are trying to solve, the unique value proposition and whether it is something that other nonprofits have explored or not. Know exactly what your mission is since this will drive your decisions.
- What paperwork do I need?
Paperwork is one of the things that is stopping most people from starting a nonprofit. However, some paperwork is necessary, regardless of how boring it may be. It would be best if you properly laid the legal and financial groundwork. You can end up in legal problems if you are not careful about the paperwork. Therefore, find a qualified lawyer and an accountant who specializes in nonprofits for help. Learn the steps you need to take to be legally on the right side.
- How will I fund my mission?
Unless you have a way of funding your nonprofit's mission, you will not realize your dream of running a nonprofit. Therefore, you need a way to raise money through donors or make money from selling merchandise. If you are like the majority of organizations, fundraising will be your best option. This is a continuous process that organizations- even the big ones, always employ to fund their missions.
- What is my competition?
As you think of starting a nonprofit, research if someone else is offering the same services and how their activities will affect your mission. Although a nonprofit does not make any money directly to those who started it, you still have competitors who offer services similar to those you offer. Therefore, you need to understand who your competitors are, their value proposition, and what you will do differently to attract donors and volunteers.
- Is a nonprofit necessary to accomplish my mission?
Even though the goal of a new nonprofit is not to make money or profits to benefit individuals but change the lives of people in the community, it still operates like a business. As such, you need to think like an entrepreneur. Ask yourself if you need a nonprofit to accomplish your mission. Do thorough research on other available solutions to problems you want to solve. Think of collaborating with others and whether another nonprofit is already doing it.
- How will I find supporters?
If you do your research, you will find that there are many nonprofits. This means that there is competition for supporters. Before you can start yours, therefore, think about people who will support your cause. These are people such as donors, volunteers and communities. Think about the cause and how it will attract people and change society to warrant people to support it. If you believe you can join forces with others to address a particular issue, perhaps that might be the best thing to do.