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.
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.
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!
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