Charitable Foundation | How to Launch a Charity
A Guide to Launching a Charitable Foundation
Most people have a profound yearning to make a difference by volunteering or donating to a cause they believe in. Others perform altruism by founding their own charity. However, establishing a charitable foundation is harder than it looks. There are tedious but necessary procedures to be followed when starting a nonprofit. Consider these tips when you plan to set up your own charity.
Choose an Advocacy
Make sure that you select a cause that you are passionate about. You can dedicate your energy to granting scholarships, feeding the poor, or fighting for women’s rights. Your foundation’s identity and charitable work will be based on your advocacy.
Moreover, your chosen cause will motivate you to achieve your goal. Running a charity takes a lot of hard work and patience, and you may reach a point of second-guessing your decision. Your advocacy will serve as your inspiration to keep going.
Create the Identity of Your Charity
Once you’ve decided on your cause, you can then proceed to build your foundation’s profile. It includes establishing your charity’s name, by-laws, mission, and vision.
· Pick a Name
When you come up with a name, consider making it catchy and straightforward. The label will serve as a “brand” that makes it easier for people to remember when you promote your nonprofit. This way, you can build recognition in your community when you ask for donations or volunteers.
In addition, ensure that your foundation’s name is unique and connected to your advocacy. Then, immediately secure the rights to the label if they’re available. It will be a problem if the name you created is already taken.
· Create a Mission and Vision
The mission and vision statements are an important part of your charity’s framework. They serve as the purpose and direction of your nonprofit. Setting a clear path keeps you and the people involved in your charity focused on what you want to accomplish.
· Make Your Charity’s By-laws
Establish the by-laws that will govern your foundation. They must be based on state and federal law and your charity’s Articles of Incorporation. Hire an expert who will fit your by-laws to your organization’s needs.
Comply with State and Federal Law
Follow the federal government’s laws and the state where your charity will operate. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your nonprofit. This number is required to fill out registration forms and open a bank account in your charity’s name. Submit all necessary documents upon registering your organization.
Apply for the 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. This way, donations become tax-deductible, and the income of people involved in the nonprofit is tax-exempt.
Design a Business Plan
Sustain your charitable foundation by devising an effective business plan. It will serve as a guide to running and managing your charity. The plan should at least be able to describe the marketing activities, detail day-to-day operations, provide information on programs and services delivered, and outline the financial status.
Strategize a Fundraising Plan
Raising money for a nonprofit is vital for its financial stability. Plan different fundraising activities to attract donors to get enough funding for your organization.
Think big and creative approaches to raising money. You can organize events such as a benefit concert, charity auction, charity run, talent show, and charity tournament. If you have a small initial budget, you can opt for bake sales, crowdfunding, and online donations.
Whether your fundraising methods are big or small, you must promote to a wide audience. Your best tool is to promote your fundraising events online through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. That way, you have a greater chance of appealing to a significant number of potential donors.
Hire and Appoint Reliable People On Your Team
It is imperative to have dependable people in important positions in your charity. They are the key to running your organization smoothly and efficiently. Three groups of people are needed in a nonprofit: board, staff, and volunteers.
Board members are involved in administrative duties. Their tasks include overseeing the organization’s operations, reviewing reports, decision-making, and ensuring staff and volunteers act according to law.
The staff members are given salaries, unlike board members and volunteers. The people you hire are usually responsible for the charity’s daily operations. Leadership roles that can be included in this group are membership manager, communications manager, events manager, and fundraising manager.
When recruiting volunteers, think through the number you need to sustain the workload daily and weekly. It would be better if they had skills and knowledge they could utilize for their assigned tasks. Also, consider if you want to invest the time in their training to fulfill their responsibilities.
Starting a charitable foundation is already a complex endeavor. Like anything worthwhile, it takes time, patience, and effort. The key is to be familiar with the processes and challenges involved in planning.