Nonprofits mostly start with great ideas and big hearts trying to address a problem nobody else seems to care about. From Doctors Without Borders to Feeding America, Americares Foundation, Direct Relief, and United Way Worldwide, there are countless examples of large, successful nonprofits around us—but even these were only just ideas at some point.
Many nonprofits may have started around the same time as these successful ones, but we don’t even know about them—probably because they’ve ceased to exist.
As a budding nonprofit, here’s what you need to avoid.
Treating Yourself as Anything Other Than A Business
Believe it or not, there’s little to no difference when it comes to running nonprofits and for-profit businesses. Especially in the earliest phases when you’re coming up with plans, funding options, grants, and advisors.
Because the fact is that even if your main purpose is to bring change in society, you need practical methods toward your goals—and most of those methods do involve money. If you fail to treat it like a business and just treat it as a charity club, your chances of success will be close to none, even if your heart’s in the right place.
Not Having A Strong Mission Statement
At the very core, a nonprofit is nothing more than a mission and passionate people working toward said mission. This is why you need a solid mission statement to get people on board, whether in terms of volunteers, funds, or other resources.
An incredible mission statement is one that clearly identifies a purpose for the nonprofit, your initial plan, who you plan to help, and other essentials.
But mission statements should be concise yet worth a thousand words if you really want to get the attention your initiative deserves. A weak mission statement will result in a weak foundation for the nonprofit, leading it to eventually crumble.
Not Embracing Modern Solutions
Another mistake most nonprofits make early on is compromising on essentials.
As a nonprofit, it’s natural for you to worry about limited funds. But it’s important to invest where necessary, such as in modern software. There are several types of nonprofit software being developed that can help make your organization more efficient, which would help you save money in the long run. So, researching and budgeting for software is an important step for long-term success.
Global Vision Technologies the developer of FAMCare, a nonprofit case management software, has been serving agencies for over 20 years. We design human services software that makes work easier and more efficient for your volunteers and caseworkers. We invite you to learn about FAMCare. To find out if we are the right fit for your organization, Let’s have a conversation.