What is a non-profit organization?
A Non-profit organization is a business that has been granted tax-exempt status (501c3) by the IRS because it furthers a social cause and provides a public benefit (Kenton, 2020). Donations made to a nonprofit organization are typically tax-deductible to individuals and businesses that make them, and the nonprofit itself pays no tax on the received donations or on any other money earned through fundraising activities (Kenton, 2020).
How do I qualify?
Qualifications are as followed, and is given only to organizations that further religious, scientific, charitable, educational, literary, public safety or cruelty-prevention causes or purposes (Kenton, 2020). A non-profit must serve the public in some way, whether through the offering of goods, services, or a combination of the two. Non-profits may also exist to collect income to dispense to other qualifying charities (Kenton, 2020).
What services can I use to start a website?
According to Artie Shlykov, he says, “A good non-profit website builder will allow you to easily create a comprehensive website for your non-profit all by yourself, regardless of how much you know about design and coding” (Shlykov, 2019). A good website builder you should be able to drag and drop widgets, design website templates, easy upload of images and resources, password protected pages for members only, the ability to easily add your nonprofit’s logo and branding (Shlykov, 2019).
Also have donation pages and buttons, new member registration with online payments, and event calendars with easy online event registration and payments (Shlykov, 2019).
How do I start? I don’t have the funds to start what can I do?
Even though you don’t have any money to start that is okay. There are many options to use in order to gain potential income to be able to earn money and become a successful non-profit organization.
The ways you can earn money for a nonprofit is to design a plan to raise the money you need to start even if you have less than $100 in the bank. A few things to help get you started is to get the right mindset. Getting the right mindset is by remembering that this is not about you, but it is about benefiting the community, and being able to build the community around you to invest in the organization (Allen, 2020).
People do not owe you anything. What I mean by “people do not owe you anything”, is that you cannot force people to give you money for a charity. You must target the right audience and give methods and strategies to convince that your organization is worth their support (Allen, 2020). You must plan and budget accordingly; you must focus on the infrastructure of the organization, which includes your board of directors and governance, organizational policies, human resources, insurance, branding, communication and lastly fundraising (Allen, 2020). With the right team, and encouragement you could be on the right path to success.
Grants, Donations, and Fundraising?
The different types of grants, donation and fundraising to start with is one of the grant programs that was introduced during COVID-19 which is called the Paycheck Protection Program known as the PPP. Different companies also give grants to non-profits such as Bank of America, Google, Disney, Microsoft, American Airlines, Amazon and so many other organizations that are willing to support your charitable organization. Donations can come from local businesses such Home Depot, Sam’s Club and Costco.
Fundraising events can be held at a social event such as churches, schools, recreational centers etc. However, because of COVID-19 we must remain safe so there are other alternatives you can do in order to still advertise your organization and keep yourself and others safe. You can do webinars, Peer to peer fundraising, Virtual class workshops, or even a social media campaign.
Most Asked Questions
Q: What makes a CRM important for a non-profit?
CRM means customer relationship management software. A CRM is important because more sales increase to your existing customers by investing in the CRM system. More leads can be generated if you invest in a CRM system (Mukundan, 2020). There’s more customer satisfaction, when a customer has a complaint or a negative experience it can be resolved in a faster and more convenient way (Mukundan, 2020). A non-profit CRM will help you engage with all your donors the right way. You can provide the information they want to know at the exact moment they are most interested. A nonprofit CRM will get the information out more frequently to get the donors more engaged with the organization (Bailey,2021).
Q: Do I need a 501c3? And how do I qualify?
Yes, you need a 501c3 for donors to use their contributions as a tax deduction. The basic requirements needed:
- Must have obtained an official status as an association, corporation, or trust.
- Provide a reason for the desire to seek tax exemption.
- Earnings and funds raised by the outlet cannot benefit a sole member.
- Profits must be used for charitable activities.
- Sole purpose is to meet public needs. (501c3 Requirements: Everything You Need to Know, 2020).
Q: How do I find donors?
Steps to getting donors for your nonprofit is as followed:
- Conduct a fun exercise with your board members.
- Host a gathering online.
- Use social media as a way to find new donors.
- Take a look at similar organization’s annual reports, websites, and newsletters.
- Ask for referrals from your current donors.
- Identify new attendees to your organization’s fundraising events (Cabral, 2017).
- 20 Simple But Effective Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits. (2020, June 26th). Retrieved from Give Forms: https://www.giveforms.com/blog/20-simple-but-effective-virtualfundraising-ideas-for-nonprofits
- 501c3 Requirements: Everything You Need to Know. (2020, June 30th). Retrieved from Upcounsel: https://www.upcounsel.com/501c3-requirements#:~:text=By%20meeting%20the%20qualifications%2C%20a%20nonprofit%20institution%20is,can%20use%20their%20contributions%20as%20a%20tax%20deduction.
- Allen, T. (2020, August 2nd). How to start a non-profit with no money. Retrieved from Boss on a budget: https://www.bossonabudget.com/blog-1/2020/7/30/how-to-start-anonprofit-with-no-money
- Bailey, M. (2021, February 28th). 7 Ways to Explain the Importance of a Nonprofit CRM. Retrieved from Virtuous: https://www.virtuous.org/blog/provenonprofit-crm-value/
- Cabral, R. (2017, December 14th). 10 Ways to Find New Donors for Your Nonprofit Organization. Retrieved from Boomarang: https://bloomerang.co/blog/10-waysto-find-new-donors-for-yournonprofitorganization/#:~:text=10%20Ways%20to%20Find%20New%20Donors%20for%20Your,to%20them.%20Compile%20a%20prospective%20…%20More%20items
- Kenton, W. (2020, April 29th). Nonprofit Organization (NPO). Retrieved from Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/non-profitorganization.asp
- Mukundan, V. (2020, July 9th). 6 Reasons Why CRM is Important For Your Business. Retrieved from Relevance insights to your own industry: https://www.relevance.com/6-reasons-why-crm-is-important-foryourbusiness/#:~:text=%20So%20here%20are%20the%206%20reasons%20why,3%20Customer%20Service%20Improvement.%20To%20retain…%20More%20
- Shlykov, A. (2019, October 31st). 11 best website builders for Non-profits, reviewed and compared, Website and Technology. Retrieved from Personify wild apricot: https://www.wildapricot.com/blog/best-nonprofit-website-builder
Prinscilla Moore CPD CLE® CNPE, is the founder of Delighted to Doula Birth Services. For as long as she can remember, supporting and educating families has been her passion. Prinscilla believes all families should be properly educated and equipped with the knowledge and tools they need in preparation for postpartum and infant care.