How to Start A Non-Profit Organization: The First Step

Ten years ago this month I formed my first formal non-profit organization.  Since those very first months there have been countless leanings, triumphs and missteps that have helped me realize just some of what it takes to run a successful non-profit.

Because of that, I often get approached by someone who wants to start their own non-profit org. and wants to know how they should get started.

My first piece of advice: don’t get started building your own org., go find a way to help the cause you want to help and work on that for a while first.   Only after doing that for a while then start thinking about your own endeavor.

Starting and running any organization is a lot of work.  It’s easy to get lost in the process and procedures of formalizing an organization with the Government and getting your non-profit status.

Most people want to start an org. because they want to help and there are plenty of existing outlets usually to do just that.  The main thing this process of waiting does is help you understand the full commitment of running an organization and how it can fit into your overall life and plans.

So, before you want to start something formal, look for something informal.  The step back can make all the difference to make sure you’re going down the right path. After you’ve done that and if you still want some help starting your own, just let me know and I’d love to help.

Matt Kane

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