When people set up a business, they generally have a motive. The majority of business owners have one thing at the forefront of their mind: profit. Generating a profit means that they can provide themselves with a comfortable lifestyle and can spend more cash on luxury purchases. However, this isn’t the purpose of every organisation out there. There are plenty of nonprofit organisations in operation at any given time. Now, investing time, effort, and cash into something that won’t accumulate further money may seem a little bizarre. But there are good reasons to do this! Stick with us as we take a more in-depth look at this alternative model!
What Is a Nonprofit?
So, let’s take a moment to establish exactly what a nonprofit organisation is. A nonprofit organisation, as you can probably guess, does not bring in any profit for the owners or the individuals working within it. However, many people may think that this includes any business that is failing or not generating profit. What it actually includes is businesses that are not designed to generate profit. A nonprofit generally is not a business. Instead, it is an organisation that aims to further a given social cause or aims to advocate a certain ideology. Any money that is made through campaigns is put towards the cause or invested back into the nonprofit to further the organisation’s objectives. Many people will often refer to nonprofits as “charities”.
Examples of Nonprofit Organisations
Some examples of extremely successful nonprofit organisations include:
- The Red Cross – The Red Cross is a humanitarian organisation that provides emergency assistance to those most in need. They promote disaster preparedness and provide disaster relief.
- WWF – founded in 1961, the WWF (or World Wildlife Fund) is a non-governmental organisation that aims to reduce human impact on the environment. It specialises in the field of wilderness preservation.
- Planned Parenthood – planned parenthood provides reproductive healthcare to those who need it.
- The Humane Society – the humane society provides direct care to around 100,000 animals each and every year. They campaign for animal rights and against animal cruelty.
Registering Your Nonprofit
When people set up nonprofits, they tend to make the mistake of assuming that they can cut a lot of legalities out of their process, as they are not generating any profits. But this isn’t necessarily the case. You still need to register your nonprofit organisation. By doing this, you will make it a distinct legal entity. If you have followed the above advice and have already decided the structure of your business, this will be a whole lot easier. There are cases where you might not need to register your business. If you are operating as yourself under your legal name, you don’t have to register, however, you may still want to consider doing this in order to make the most of personal liability protection, legal benefits, and tax benefits. Legally speaking, all businesses that are LLC, a corporation, a partnership, or even nonprofit will usually have to register with their state in order to operate business activities within the state. You can determine the state you need to register with by determining which state you run a commercial property within, conduct regular meetings and interviews within, generate a significant portion of your revenue from, and have employees working in. Depending on the state that you are registering with, you will have to register online or file paper documents.
Marketing Your Nonprofit
Once you are all set up, you are going to have to focus on marketing your nonprofit. This can be relatively difficult. After all, you are going to want to focus the majority of your time, money, and effort on furthering your cause and marketing can eat up a whole lot of money and can take a whole lot of time. But remember that you need to get your word out there and attract people’s attention to your nonprofit in order to start receiving donations that can help to further spread your message and implement further change. Generally speaking, you should take a three step process when marketing your nonprofit. This is referred to as impact marketing and consists of:
- Insight – raising awareness of your nonprofit. You should strategically put content pertaining to your cause out there on the web that can lead users to your main website where they can receive more information.
- Investigate – fill your website with informative content that users can then become stirred up and driven by.
- Impact – show the impact that your cause has made so far. Give success stories. Show how the work you have done has improved lives. Show the potential for further improvement should the individual donate.
It’s all good and well receiving an initial donation. But you want to do as much as you can to retain and maintain existing donors at the same time as bringing in new ones. Try to encourage people to sign up for a rolling monthly membership that will deduct a monthly amount from their bank account. This will help you much more than a one-off donation will. You can find out more about different techniques to retain donors here.
As you can see, there’s a whole lot to bear in mind when setting up a nonprofit organisation. While you do not have the incentive of raising money for yourself along the way, the incentive of furthering a cause you believe in and are deeply invested in should keep the wheels turning. You’ll begin to see positive change in the world as a direct result of your organisation’s operation in no time and then everything will be worth it!