bringing you a dose of motivation, inspiration & education to your daily life... Vol. 1
5 Things To Consider Before Starting A Non-Profit
Every day more and more people are considering starting a non-profit organization. When asked why, there are a number of different reasons but the general reason is to provide assistance to changing some type of social condition or improve the lives of others.
When people come to me as a consultant and ask about starting a nonprofit I generally will ask the following questions to help understand why they plan to start one.
What are the issues or condition that you want to change?
Do you have experience starting or running a business?
Do you realize that as the CEO of a nonprofit that you will become a professional beggar?
How will you fund the startup of your nonprofit?
Have you researched other nonprofits similar to the type that you want to start to see if you can help them?
1. What are the issues or condition that you want to change?
How well have you defined the issue that you want to focus on?
For example if your issue is feeding the homeless;
All homeless, or just families, or just men or women. Is there a certain age or race? Is there a certain location in your community?
Is feeding them all you plan on doing? Generally if a person is homeless there are other reasons that have contributed to their homelessness. Are you prepared to deal with the other contributing issues?
What will be the outcome of your interaction with them that will help move them out of homelessness?
A lot of questions right? These are the questions that a potential funder will definitely ask.
2. Do you have experience starting or running a business?
Have you ever run a business before? A nonprofit organization is a business. It is treated exactly like a for profit business in the eyes of the state and federal government. The only difference is how taxes are applied.
Do you know how to write a business plan or create a startup budget? What about a marketing plan.
If you answered no to this question maybe you should consider taking a workshop on how to start a business before starting a nonprofit.
3. Do you realize that as the CEO of a nonprofit that you will become a professional beggar?
It will be your primary job as the CEO of a nonprofit to raise funds to run the nonprofit. You will be responsible for communicating the purpose, strategy and outcomes of the organization to persons that will donate money or time to help the organization.
Are you good at asking people for things? Are you a good public speaker? Do you know how to write a good business proposal? Are you good leader?
Of course you could have others do this for you but will they have the same dedication and purpose. How long will they be willing to work for free? Yes I said free. If your purpose is using your donations for an afterschool program, should not the majority of your funding go towards the afterschool program? Not to the people that are helping to raise the funds.
Get ready to hear the hesitation in your friend’s voices when they answer your call…
4. How will you fund the startup of your nonprofit?
It cost money to run a business. Where is your operating cash coming from? Most people think that they will be able to receive a grant to start their nonprofit.
If you were a funder who would you give your money to first? An organization that has been successfully up and running, showing good outcomes and good financial management or;
A new organization that has no track record, no real plan, no outcomes and will most likely use the money to try different things to run the organization verses a planned approach to running the programs.
Do you have the money to run your organization for at least 1 year? It can come from friends, family or contributors that believe in your vision but you will need to show a funder that you have good fiscal responsibility using your own money before they will give you any substantial funding.
5. Have you researched other nonprofits similar to the type that you want to start to see if you can help them?
This is the question I get the most interesting answer for. If your goal is to really help others why do you need to start your own organization if there are others that are already doing the work that you want to do???????
Is this about you or helping others???
By working first with other existing organizations you could learn more about the industry and what it takes to run the type of organization. You could also develop contacts in the industry.
I applaud all that have decided to provide a service to others. This makes the world a better place. Just be sure that you fully understand everything about what you are getting into so that you can be sure to provide the best service you can to people you plan to server.
Think about it, you start serving people and help them to feel better and because of your lack of understanding about what you have gotten into, you have to stop. You have might have made matters worse.
Click to take our Program Development Survey to help you develop your non-profit idea.
Marc Parham has been successfully consulting for all types of businesses for over 20 years. He has consulted for small to mid-sized business, large corporations, and non-profit organizations in all areas of business development. He has certifications in Project management, Network Engineering, Non-profit Management and other areas of business development.
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I Agree With Steve Harvey... Forget Slavery!
Recently the internet was ablaze about comments made by African American comedian Steve Harvey in reference to Christian America’s enslavement of African people for profit. Yes, I am well aware of the continued history of Jim Crow and de-facto racism against people of color…Oriental, Hispanic and African heritage persons.
However, let us get a collective grip on this reality…there will NEVER be a “Post Racial” America. Color is woven into the very fabric of the Constitution, mindset and daily experience of this country. Let us also wrap our minds around this…I have travelled the world and doubt there is a “Post Racial” society anywhere in this time and place continuum. In Europe for example the “race card” is what country you come from and what ethnic group you are. Heck in Ireland the “race card is what religion you profess (Protestant or Catholic).
That having been said…the question is “How will you choose to respond?” You can focus on events or you focus upon personal achievement. Focus upon personal achievement does not make you a “sellout” It makes you an example that success can be had in any social environment IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE TO GET IT. President Barack Obama is an example of this very concept. He is truly AFRICAN American. His father was from the country of Kenya in the Eastern Africa Continent. Yet he graduated with honors from prestigious Harvard University facing all of the headwinds or race. He became a Senator in the State of Illinois, USA being elected with the electoral support of people of all backgrounds. He is now President of the United States having won TWO presidential elections…the last one winning 5 of 6 “battleground states” and the “battleground state he lost in---he never even campaigned in.
Okay, people hate him because of his complexion and all that. BUT he is married, lettered, and successful and a great example to all people (regardless of complexion or childhood circumstances) of what can be achieved if we focus on success and stay dedicated to achievement.
Isaiah 40:31 says “31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (New International Version). Did you know that eagles take off running INTO THE WIND? The stronger the wind---the easier they take to flying. What a powerful covenant from God! Scripture also says that for those who mind stays upon the Lord HE SHALL DIRECT YOUR PATH. Scripture says that God will take you from Glory to glory (victory to victory). To have victory there must be battles.
Nobody drives a vehicle while having their vision fixed only into the rearview mirror. You must look ahead and around you, yes? Similarly, you should not drive your life fixed mentally on the abuses and drama of the past. Let those experiences and knowledge of that history of a people enslaved and legally downtrodden be a spark to fire your desire to achieve despite of what has happened in the past.
So, in conclusion, I may not agree with the entirety of Steve Harvey’s comments relative to his “Forget about slavery” but I do agree with his core concept. Focus on whatever it takes to be a success and positive example to those around you. Slavery happened but you can achieve today…if YOU choose to focus on success. So the question is do you have the stamina to endure to the finish line? Scripture says that “the race belongs not to the swiftest but to those that endure to the end”.
Dr. Richard "Gladiator"Johnson, B.Sc., D.D.
Host of "PowerPoints of Victory"
Manopause & How stress exacerbates the problem
Many men mistake the symptoms of imbalanced hormones in men with signs of aging. However, these symptoms of so called “aging” are often the result of the decline of both testosterone and growth hormone (referred to as andropause or more commonly “menopause”). Research has shown that testosterone falls at a rate of up to 1.6% per year starting at age 30. Similarly, after age 20, a man's growth hormone falls about 14% for every 10 years. By the time he reaches 40, he's lost almost half the growth hormones he had at 20- years old and by the time he reaches 80, men are left with just 5% of their original growth hormones. It’s obvious that you don't have to be middle-aged or older to experience the symptoms of what is commonly being called “menopause” these days.
The symptoms of andropause can happen gradually. In fact, at first they may be barely noticeable, but over time more symptoms appear and become more pronounced, and eventually they become very apparent. These symptoms include:
Fatigue or lack of energy
Mood swings or irritability
Muscle loss or weakness
Depression or anxiety
Increased body fat
Night Sweats or Hot flashes
Sleep apnea or insomnia
Constipation or increased bowel movements
Gynecomastia (breast development in men)
What’s important to know is how stress can trigger the decline in the production of both testosterone and growth hormone. Stress is virtually unavoidable in today's modern world, but we are learning more about how stress can impact our hormone levels. A recent study on stress and hormones has shown that stressful situations can have a significant impact on the endocrine system, causing decline in virtually every hormone and contributing to early andropause, and even infertity.
While everyone has stress in their life at some points, learning to identify the triggers as well as symptoms you might be experiencing related to elevated stress is critical for long term health. Avoiding and managing stress in order to maintain hormonal balance is key to long term health and happiness. It is important to eat clean foods that support the production and maintenance of hormones. In addition, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep average at night, and engaging in some physical activity also both enhance production and prevent the rapid decline of testosterone and growth hormone. Finally, utilizing other stress management practices such as humor, meditation, music, and even simple connection with people you love will keep stress levels down and the quality of hormones and your life alive.
Dr. Maiysha Clairborne
Wellness Blueprint Radio
Dr. Maiysha Clairborne is an integrative family physician, the founder of Mind Body Spirit Wellness Inc, and Associate Clinical Professor for Morehouse School of Medicine. She