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  • Writer's pictureJackie Serrini

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Nonprofit Organization

You’re ready to change the world and have a great idea for a nonprofit organization. Fantastic! Nonprofits can be a great way to bring about positive change in your community, but there are a few things you need to consider before taking the plunge. Here are some important questions to ask yourself before starting a nonprofit organization.

Young business woman running along a grass pathway surrounded by colourful abstract shapes representing the concept "starting a nonprofit"

Are you clear on your mission?

Your mission is the reason your nonprofit exists. It should be clear, concise, and focused. Without a clear mission, it can be difficult to articulate the goals of the organization and to appeal to potential donors and volunteers. Furthermore, a lack of clarity can lead to confusion and conflict within the organization itself. By taking the time to develop a clear mission statement, you can ensure that your nonprofit is focused and prepared to achieve its objectives.

Tip: Check out NonprofitReady’s most popular free courses on starting a nonprofit.

Do you have the time and resources to commit to starting a nonprofit?

Before starting your own nonprofit organization, it's important to do some research to see if there is already an organization that is doing the same work that you are interested in. There are many ways to research this, but a good place to start is by searching for similar organizations on websites like Candid. You can also search for articles about your focus area and see what nonprofits are getting coverage. Once you have done some research, if you find that there is already an organization doing the work that you want to do, you may want to consider partnering with them or joining their team.

Also check out Candid’s free course Is Starting a Nonprofit Right for You available for free in NonprofitReady.

Are you prepared to handle the financial responsibility?

Running a nonprofit costs money— often more than people realize. In addition to general operating expenses like office space and supplies, you’ll need to account for things like program costs, insurance, and fundraising expenses. Before starting your nonprofit, make sure you have a solid financial plan in place and know where the money will come from to fund your operations.

Tip: Check out the free Fundraising Essentials Certificate program in NonprofitReady to learn all the ways nonprofits raise money.

Starting a nonprofit organization can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not something to take on lightly. Be sure to ask yourself these important questions before getting started to set your organization up for success.


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