Have you ever thought about starting a non-profit organization in your community? Here are the things Oprah's Angel Network considered before getting started.
Remember, starting a non-profit isn't easy and it's not for everyone. If you can identify a clear need and have the vision and energy to make a difference, then go for it!
- Ask yourself what goal you want to accomplish—who you want to help and how.
- Can you achieve your goal by volunteering with an existing organization, or will it take a larger effort to make a difference?
- Outline a mission: What is the purpose of your organization?
- Research organizations with similar missions.
- Identify a Board of Directors—look for people who care about your goal and who are active. It helps to have members with different skills like accounting, non-profit law, public relations and fundraising.
- Decide how your non-profit will be funded—there are lots of fund-raising options.
- Check with professional non-profit groups like www.NetworkForGood.org or your Regional Association of Grant Makers for non-profit advice.
- Prepare for 501(c)(3) tax status so your organization can accept tax-exempt donations. You'll need a clear and concise mission, a Board of Directors and organizational by-laws.