A Basic Guide to Running a Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit Organization

If you’re running a nonprofit organization, it’s fair to say thank you and good luck.

You’re on a noble path, choosing service instead of profit. But that doesn’t mean that things are gonna be easy.

About thirty percent of nonprofits fail to survive after ten years.

For nonprofits, success isn’t measured in scale or financial growth, it’s about achieving the mission. Having said that, you still need to run your organization like a business geared towards growth and sustainability.

Otherwise, your organization is on the path to becoming just another statistic.

Due to the nature of service, it’s harder, in some ways, to run a nonprofit than a regular business venture. You need a firm grasp of how a nonprofit operates and what it takes to succeed.

Here are some nonprofit tips and information to help you out.

  1. Being Laser-Focused on the Mission

When you started the organization, you had a clear vision of the purpose of your nonprofit and how it can serve the community. Don’t lose sight of that.

Everyone should be on board with the overall mission. Common reasons why nonprofit organizations fail are because of mission overlap and mission creep. When you take on too many objectives besides your original mission, the result is confusion from within and without.

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Every decision and undertaking should support and promote your mission. That’s also the case when you’re writing the business plan.

  1. Developing a Strong United Team

The best nonprofits are run by good people, from the board to the staff and volunteers.

The first step is hiring like-minded individuals but it doesn’t end there. There should be a development structure in place to help them grow and mature. This includes orientation, training, and other ways to keep them engaged and focused.

  1. Incorporating Your Nonprofit and Filing for 501(c)(3)

Nonprofits play by a different set of rules and laws determined by state and federal authorities. It starts with legally incorporating your nonprofit organization.

Incorporating has a number of benefits. It adds to the credibility of your organization for one thing. It also limits the liability of your officers and directors.

You can also apply for tax exemption by filing for 501(c)(3) status. This frees you from paying taxes on donations. That way, you’ll have more money to use for your nonprofit’s operations.

  1. Running a Nonprofit Organization Like a Well-Oiled Machine

Even if service is your goal, don’t forget one thing. Money is still the fuel it runs on.

Like any business, the key is to build a solid capital structure. This means maintaining an accurate nonprofit bookkeeping system. The nonprofit label doesn’t exempt you from the responsibilities of reporting your finances.

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It’s also important to have answers to the question of where to get your funding. How do you get money, spend money, and make money?

Applying for grants is one of the common ways to secure startup funding but what’s the next step? To attract financial supporters, you have to create a marketing and content plan. You also have to diversify your fundraising tactics.

A Challenging but Rewarding Venture

Running a nonprofit organization comes with its own unique challenges and complexities. But as long as you believe in what you’re doing, you can overcome anything to achieve your mission. The success of your nonprofit means more people served and a more positive impact on the community.

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