They leave out important steps like how to do research and develop program ideas.
They leave out major steps and don't put the ones they have in meaningful order .
They don't talk about all the moving pieces that overlap (like, while you're doing research and thinking about mission, start looking for credible board members).
They frequently talk about 'what' but don't talk about 'how'.
Have you spent time searching for answers and become frustrated with the process? Do you have a to-do list but still have questions about what to do next?
Wouldn't you like an actual, step-by-step set of instructions that go logically from one set of actions to the next? Suggestions like:
The pre-planning to do before you choose a name and incorporate
Suggestions when choosing a name
Who to call in your community and the questions to ask before you get started
Tips on building an initial advisory board
Record-keeping to ensure you can either get reimbursed for expenses or claim a tax-deduction
When to incorporate and file for an EIN
When and how to register for IRS tax exemption
The important and essential steps that must come between state incorporation and IRS exemption
It's during the planning process that most founders can truly benefit from guidance. You can build the strongest, most successful and sustainable charity by working through the activities that most people ignore. And, you can even have someone to answer your questions along the way.
When you start a nonprofit, your tasks will include researching and planning, building your board of directors, organizing your structure, managing the finances, fundraising, grant-writing, creating policies, creating programs, and collaborating in the community. You'll frequently be doing this all at once! Our commitment is to ensure you have the knowledge and tools to meet each new stage head on and know what to prioritize. With Thrive South and our "How to Start a Life-Changing Charity" mentoring program, you will get everything you need to get started, along with the knowledge how to proceed, regardless of your background.
This way, you can focus on your mission, whether it's sheltering the disadvantaged, providing free healthcare, helping dementia patients, preventing violence, sharing the arts, or so many more amazing causes.
Bad Advice is Everywhere The reality is, the process of starting a charity generally is not something that you can do or explain by putting together a short checklist. There are many parts of formation that many people will tell you to "download a sample online". For example, an organization's most important document is its bylaws. Every client I have worked with in the last two years was told to "download something and change it later."
New founders get this advice because most people do not understand the legal importance of the bylaws. Occasionally, a lawyer even drafts bylaws and forgets that they don't have to be complicated! Bylaws exist simply to describe how your organization is managed. Since you legally will be required to have a Board of Directors providing oversight, the bylaws exist to explain how many board members there are, how often the board meets, and how officers are elected.
Although there are some elements that are required to be included, the bylaws should reflect the governance and organizational needs of YOUR organization. Not only is this true, but the leadership of many organizations don't know how to use their bylaws to support and govern their organization. It's not their fault. They've never been taught.
But it is their responsibility, and yours, to learn from reputable, qualified sources.
You wouldn't want your mechanic guessing how to fix your car. Or your surgeon taking advice instead of getting real training on how to do your surgery. I have personally started or been instrumental in the start-up of five nonprofits as a founding employee, consultant or volunteer. I am now consulting start-up charities full-time. My graduate degree is in nonprofit planning and administration. I am a licensed consultant in my state and I am a trainer with my state center for nonprofits.
A charity is not "started" until you have a formed, organized and operating Board of Directors. It is not "started" until it is funded and providing programs. However, you can get your program fully formed, organized, funded, and "started" by serving your community sooner than you think, AND you can do it and still get a good night's sleep. Thrive South can do this with you.
Or, you can keep searching the Internet with your questions, looking for the next step, wondering when you'll really get started and wondering if you'll make a difference when you do.
Take a moment and visualize our six phases of start-up. There are several steps and activities that bring you closer to success in each phase. Many parts of the phases overlap. Some people want to jump ahead and start a quick and easy business. That's generally not possible with charities because the intent is to serve the public and accountability, compliance, and sustainability is expected. If you want to quickly start a business without all these steps, they you should probably consider forming a for-profit corporation, partnership, or LLC.
Our training program is designed for the community-minded individual who is moved to make a difference. We will teach you the important aspects of starting a life-changing charity and give you a strong foundation to build on. Our goal is to provide coaching and training along the path from planning to sustainability. We do our very best to be affordable and accessible for everyone. We offer deeply reduced pricing specifically for start-ups, delayed payments, and payment plans.
When you choose mentoring and advising, we have a program called How to Start a Life-Changing Nonprofit.
You will build your legally formed, fully structured and operational tax-exempt charity with the guidance of a mentor and advisor who will meet regularly with you.
Education portal with "assignments"
Access to discussion boards
Grant review and feedback
Limited group webinars
Flexible scheduling and time-frame
"Almost unlimited" access to coach/mentor via phone/email/discussion group
Some founders will go through the formation process in two or three months, depending on how long they stay in the planning phase and how long they spend building their initial board (more on that later). The actual legal formation paperwork takes a few days or weeks. But never forget, this is the process of building the foundation of your organization. Just like building your home, you can't go back and "start over" once the house is built.
After planning and formation, you'll go through the next four phases at your own pace. We like to allow 12 to 18 months for a charity to build their programs and begin establishing funding. In that time, you will master:
Building an Effective Board of Directors
Organization and Nonprofit Financial management,
Development of Fundraising Plan
Policy and procedure, compliance
When you choose Thrive South's comprehensive mentoring service when starting a nonprofit, I guarantee you'll organize faster, with less stress, more confidence, and a (much) greater chance at success. We offer a free, no-obligation phone or video consultation. Schedule now and decide if it's the time to take your mission and your organization to the next level.
DON'T WAIT!! LIMITED 2020 AND 2021 ENROLLMENTS AVAILABLE.