People have pain-points. The hurdles that they have to climb to achieve basic necessity and then the ability to thrive. When organizations are able to touch someone and improve their life they continue to give back. The direct connection is what provides the culture benefit and gives organizations the ability to know what their community needs to be prosperous.
Each organization starts with a mission and vision statement. It is doing something that is needed to bring joy and touches the heart. Determine if there is a need for the service provided. What do the people around you say that they "need". Sometimes a person will know and sometimes they won't, it is OK to keep space open and allow time to plan and think.
Understand that starting a Nonprofit or any large NGO requires a group of people. It may be one of the hardest ways to start a "business" venture that provides a paycheck and steady income. Grants take time to get and newly formed nonprofits have to demonstrate that they offer a product and service long before they qualify for government funding.
The time that an organization takes to develop their services and demonstrate a positive result allows for interest to build. Let's be honest, it takes time for people to know, like and trust you before they fully invest or commit use that time to build momentum in the products you create. Although there is always a need for basic human services and development, if funding is not incorporated into the business plan of any organization it will fail to meet the objectives everyone intended to meet.
Don't let the need for a board stop you from acting within your passions to gain clarity on how to best serve in the bigger mission to create a nonprofit. Creators have to lean into themselves to understand how they can give to others. That is why you have to know your offer, what do you serve, how do you serve it and how does it provide a positive benefit for both you, clients and the sponsors involved.
Now, I won't lie, getting sponsors all the time can be difficult, even when they are purchasing a product like the ability to go to a Gala, or a Sip and Paint, Fun Run, Fair, Pageant, Festival, and oh so many more creative options for raising money. One of our Collaborative Creators who operates on the Board of the YMCA revealed that fundraising was very much like selling and getting investors to understand the benefits of the products that they offer. Serving on the board of a nonprofit is labor intensive, but it will often times not bring in a paycheck unless you have the ability to align with the nonprofit, program creators, and other organizations because you are then the one who is giving.
Everyone has their strength, and so does each organization. Nonprofits can thrive when they work together, in fact, if organizations come together they can collectively offer a better product. There are nonprofits that offer everything from housing, to medical care, farming, transportation and so much more. It all takes micro-actions and incorporating the premise that the activities that the nonprofit engages should have a cost benefit analysis. What does it cost and what is the return in investment?
From those investments, again understand that everything is managed by the board and then all money gained is spent on business expenses and reinvested into the organization to serve the population in need. Understand which population you want to serve and how to serve them. What is the long term investment and the benefit from all parties?
Non-profits are impressive when they can invest in the products created by the people involved and share them to reach the benefit that the organization intends to provide. Organizations for Children and Adults in Need can do this when they create collaborative programs. What products are you putting in your donation bags... where do they come from? Who contracts to maintain and promote the organization?
Now, nonprofits cannot enrich the people that run them. But, the board can agree to pay people for the unique services they provide, outside of participating on the board, so long as the party who provides the service is not part of the vote to authorize payment. It is also important to keep in mind that the board of a nonprofit cannot just be family members because family members are also disqualified from such votes for other family members. It is truly a collective of unrelated people who share a similar mission, goal and focus.
After finding the people and creating, testing and continuing to create products, knowing where and how you administer services will be the next task and an upcoming post.