If you are looking to start a nonprofit, congratulations! We applaud your intentions and are here to help. The very name nonprofit would imply that there isn’t a lot of extra cash sitting around, waiting for you to spend it; so here are some tips on how to start a nonprofit on a budget.
Do Your Homework
Simply starting a nonprofit can take a significant amount of resources. The more you research and plan, the more successful you should be. As a first step, clearly identify the need for the product or services you will provide and check to see if there are others who are already doing the work. Another important factor is financing. There are new nonprofits popping up all the time and they compete for the same pool of money. Many recommend that you develop a solid business plan; there are examples all over the internet. Make sure all of your organizational ducks are in a row before you proceed.
Costs of Starting a Nonprofit
Once you have your mission and financing nailed down, you can begin estimating costs for opening and operating. Will you need an office, staff or other high-cost items? In order to begin a nonprofit, there is a hefty amount of paperwork. Certain forms need to be filled out and filed with state and with federal agencies. Are there any additional licenses or certificates that you may need to operate? Are you going to have staff or is the work something that you could share with a community group or volunteer? Will it only be registered as a nonprofit in your state? Or will you take it to the next level and set it up as a tax exempt nonprofit with the IRS?
Software Can Help
It isn’t easy keeping track of numbers, bank accounts, allocated costs and more. There is an affordable budgeting software designed for the small nonprofit in mind. MoneyMinder can help take the sting out of accounting and offers a number of user-friend features like creating reports and tracking fundraising. The best part about MoneyMinder, besides the price ($159 per year), is that it is digital, so you simply log into your account anytime you have internet access. If you are busy and on the go, MoneyMinder goes with you.
These are just a few tips on how to start a nonprofit. It is safe to say that this is a big undertaking and you should contact law and tax professionals to make sure that you are on track. However, people start nonprofits all the time, and so can you!