Tips for Starting a Charity

Starting a charity is one way to raise funds and support a cause you feel strongly about. You should follow several steps when starting a charitable organization, and proceeding in the right order and with the right knowledge is crucial.

Finances
Charities are non-profit businesses, but businesses nonetheless. Therefore, they require a substantial investment to get things going. You'll need to organize some investors to contribute and put together a business plan for how the funds will be used. Fundraising should commence as soon as possible to sustain the charity.

Basic Business Skills
Starting a charity is similar to other business organizations when it comes to creating bylaws and following proper rules and regulations. You should also understand how to qualify for tax-exempt status and study up on various non-profit legal processes, including formal recognition. You will need to follow sound business practices and be familiar with the particular rules concerning non-profit organizations.

Clarify the Cause
A well-written set of bylaws will govern the way your charity runs, but a mission statement will let workers and donors know what you are all about. The mission statement should clarify the purpose of the charity and spell out the goal of the organization. Beyond the charity's purpose, identify who will benefit and what work will be accomplished via the charity.

Advertise and Educate
Getting the word out is the final step of starting a charity. Between education campaigns and public awareness events, you can get your local charity and its goals in front of potential donors. Once people know what your organization does, they may feel the desire to contribute time or donate funds. Continue to solicit donations and keep careful records of all funds received, as well as how they are distributed.

Know Fundraising
The lifeblood of your charity will be fundraising, so follow these time-honored fundraising tips for your charity:

  • Hold charity fundraising events that have clear target groups and modest goals.
  • Look at what other local charities are doing, and work with prominent community members to get the word out and benefit from their extensive knowledge in their area.
  • Keep personnel motivated and share measured and marked achievements with volunteers and donors.
  • By combining passion for a cause with business acumen, you will best be able to serve your cause.
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