READY? SET? GO?
One of the most frequently-asked questions we hear at CNE is “how do I start a nonprofit”? From personal experience to perceived community need to a desire to share resources, people consider starting a nonprofit organization for many reasons. Our almost 300 member organizations reflect the wide spectrum of motivations to form a new organization.
While launching a new organization may yield significant benefits, an undertaking of this magnitude is also not without challenges and risk. Knowing where and to whom to go to ask for help is a great first step. CNE’s Starting a Nonprofit Toolkit encourages potential founders to first look at alternatives to forming a nonprofit and answer a list of fundamental questions regarding market research and potential resources to determine there is truly a need for a new nonprofit. Other alternatives to forming a new organization include board service, other volunteer opportunities, and/or donations to existing groups.
Once someone has done due diligence and created a business plan, creating a mission/vision statement is a key next step in building a foundation for success. One of the most important pieces of a strong foundation is the board of directors. It takes a village to get a new organization running and to maintain it; think of the board as that village, and construct well.
Your village will also consist of other volunteers, staff, donors, and community stakeholders. Don’t forget to ask them for help when you need it. (And you can alwaysask us for assistance at CNE.) Whether you are just beginning the process to form a nonprofit, or have been operating in the sector for years, we support organizations at any lifecycle stage. Consider us part of your village!