Congratulations! You did it! You made your dream come true, to help others.
You filed all the forms with the State of Texas and the IRS, now the real work begins, but you’re not alone. When you filed your bylaws, you had to have at least three directors: a president, a secretary, and one other, usually a treasurer. These three positions are the core of your organization; now the next step is to find other, like-minded individuals to create your board of directors.
You may think, that’s easy, I’ll just ask my family and friends. That may work in the short term. But your long game will require a variety of expertise and a diversity of support to grow your organization and fulfill your mission.
Policies and procedures are often the last thing anyone wants to talk about, but having these in place early on, will save you, your board and your organization time and headache. Policies cover a range of issues from personnel to gift acceptance to governance. There are many resources available to help you understand the nonprofit best practices that cover such areas as accountability, and financial transparency, and ethics.
Hand-in-hand with all of this is fundraising. What do you need to serve those who depend on your organization? Before you can create a fundraising plan there are many questions to ask and decisions to make. How large a staff do you need? How much is rent? What are the program costs and other expenses?
With a realistic budget to guide you, a fundraising plan can be developed to identify, cultivate and solicit individual donors, foundations, and corporations. A fundraising best practice is to use a variety of solicitation methods such as events, direct mail, social media, and planned giving. Taking the time to create a fundraising plan will be well worth the effort. This will be your roadmap to success.
Michelle Crim, CFRE
Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.