How to Start a Non-Profit Organisation the Right Way
New nonprofits face more challenges than ever before, because of how the internet and emerging technologies are changing the ways in which people interact with organizations.
‣ The rise of the internet and smartphones has actually decreased people’s attention spans, making it harder for nonprofits to stand out and get their message across.
‣ Large organizations are using “big data” to deliver extremely personalized experiences to large groups of people, meaning they can now fulfil the roles small organizations used to play.
‣ Shareholders are replaced by donors, and you’ll be expected to deliver results quickly.
While this may sound discouraging, there are many new charities that meet their objectives and gather hundreds of members and thousands in donations very quickly.
Here’s what they do differently:
1. They understand the logistics of running a charity
One of the things about charity is that it is a very mobile business by nature.
While you may have an HQ, most of the work will be done on the ground, which means that you’ll need to have ways to monitor teams and individual players wherever they go.
You’ll also need to have a robust IT infrastructure to handle all the personal information you’ll be processing.
You will have to deal with financial information which will need to be encrypted. Having lots of moving teams all using their own devices also complicates things, as you’ll need to allow them to access the information needed so they can work and make autonomous decisions without compromising critical data.
This is why you will need to consider hiring an IT team that specialises in providing IT support for charities like Impreza IT. They’ve been providing IT Support for decades and have a good reputation for understanding the specific challenges facing charities and will help come up with custom solutions to manage your teams and data in the safest way possible.
2. They know the charity is not a stable business
If you’re the type of person who feels comfortable with instability, charity is the industry for you.
No two days are the same, and you’ll routinely have to put out fires. You might have to deal with a major donor pulling out at the last minute, for example.
The scope of projects or efforts can also grow overnight and you may have to deal with limited resources in many cases. It’s also nearly impossible to forecast the future of this kind of organisation with pinpoint accuracy.
3. They don’t cut corners on health and safety
Health and safety at work is often ignored in startups. Take care of your people as well as you take care of your cause.
Organising regular health and safety training sessions is the best way to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation. Reminding your team of essential health and safety protocols, such as what to do when the fire alarm sounds, is critical. But, it may also be helpful to provide your team with extra training on topics such as fire extinguisher usage as an additional safety precaution.
4. They’re ready to work overtime
Since charity work is mainly mission-driven, overtime is inevitable and common. There are times when no volunteers show up and times when you’ll have so many you won’t know where to put them.
You, as a founder, also run the risk of getting burned out if you take too much on.
The key is making sure that you know when to say no.
You also have to know that you don’t necessarily have to scale up and that you may have to reject important donations if you don’t feel you can deliver, which can be extremely difficult.
These are all things that you need to know before you even think of entering the non-profit sector.
Charity work is very rewarding, but it takes a lot of work and preparation.