How to Build a Lasting Nonprofit Foundation

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Once you’ve done your strategic research and planning and determined the need for your new nonprofit, you now need to build the foundation of your organization.

The following questions will help set you up for success:

1. Do YOU have what it takes?

Successful nonprofit leaders embody certain qualities that allow them to thrive instead of merely survive. You can learn the skills, but without the attributes, you won’t get very far. Take a look at these 5 traits of successful nonprofit leaders and make sure you can see yourself in there.

  1. Authenticity – What you see is what you get, like it or not. They’re not afraid to completely own their true self….and this is attractive. People love it. It makes them feel at ease because they can relax and be themselves too, which sets the stage for powerful interactions. They develop trust. This is huge.
  2. Conviction – They’re so passionate about their cause that it sets the world on fire. They inspire and attract amazing people who jump on board to serve their mission and connect with their own higher purpose. They’re masters at changing hearts and minds, but they also understand how to communicate this mission without offending or alienating others who don’t share or potentially oppose their views.
  3. Fearlessness – They walk straight into the things that terrify them fully understanding how these are the best actions for their organization, staff, donors, and mission. They keep a sense of perspective, don’t take criticism personally, and handle adversity with grace.
  4. Gratitude – They see their work as a privilege…..because it truly is. They get to wake up every day and do work they love that matters. They operate in the world with a sense of joy, knowing how blessed they are be making such massive contributions.
  5. Sense of Humor – Let’s be honest, this path is not easy, but anything worth getting never is. After all, you’re changing the world. That’s a big deal. These leaders likely have days that feel unbearable, but they look at these challenges as opportunities for personal and professional growth. They take them in stride, learn, and laugh. They know when to let up on the seriousness and set the tone for bellyache laughter throughout their organization when times get tough. They seek to inspire and bring out the best in people no matter what. They understand no one wants to be around a “Scrooge”.

2. WHO will be on your team?

Running a nonprofit is just like running a business and you can’t (and definitely don’t want to) do it alone. In order to make the impact you desire, you need a team that fits your organization’s values everywhere from your board of directors to your volunteers. New founders often struggle with this part as selecting and recruiting your board of directors can seem challenging – but it doesn’t have to be. Just keep it simple. Here are a few resources to help:

3. WHAT do you need to do?

Having a great cause is one thing, but you must understand the strategic actions that will help you get your nonprofit off the ground.

  • What funds do you need and what is the economic climate like in this market?
  • Have you dialed in all aspects of your business plan?
  • What resources do you need, including skill sets and volunteers, property and where can you partner in your community?

4. HOW do you file your paperwork?

Getting 501(c)3 tax-exempt status is an important part of the structure of your nonprofit. It allows you to attract the donors and funds you need to run a successful nonprofit and truly make your impact.

There are two main steps to getting your 501(c)3:

  1. Incorporating at the state level – completing the state forms required to create a nonprofit corporation.
  2. Applying for tax-exempt status from the federal government – filing out your 501(c)3 application for the IRS.

Unfortunately, these two required steps are known to be filled with a nightmare of complex paperwork and delays, costing people too much money, time and frustration – which is why we’ve streamlined the process for you. Our InstantNonprofit 501(c)3 formation service guarantees IRS approval in a fraction of the time and cost it would take with an attorney, and you don’t have to deal with any government agents. We do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your mission.

If you’ve been through these steps, recruited your team, can take action on your business plan, and are ready to get your nonprofit 501(c)3 status, but have questions and would love some guidance, then we’re happy to help. You can schedule a FREE consult call with one of our formation specialists here.

Cheers to your mission,

Jacqui Long | Yippiekiyay

 

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