A while back, one of my clients went from starting a new nonprofit to receiving financial support from a major university and several corporations in less than 90 days.
So how did they do it? What was their secret to success?
Well, they hired me of course! (Sorry couldn’t resist)
While they actually did hire me to help, the secret to their success was their founder. She just took the process of starting a nonprofit seriously and perfectly executed our plan. No tricks, no magic, no special talents, or “insider” relationships… just good old fashion hard work.
And you can do it too!
The first thing you need to get major funding or support is a 501C3.
Obtaining 501c3 status is really a “big deal” and should be taken seriously. Establishing your organization on the “good foot” (starting it the right way), can put you in the position for start-up success. But just having 501c3 status doesn’t mean much unless you take action!
All too often, many new nonprofit organizations get over the hurdle of obtaining their 501c3 status only to do nothing. Honestly, most of the time it is not their fault. This inability to move beyond start-up is usually because most new nonprofits, particularly those with under-experienced leaders, do not quite know how to get started. And getting started is the most important part!
Most new and under-experienced organizations get started on the “wrong foot”, and while there are plenty of ways to start out WRONG, the biggest and most common is to begin “fishing” for funding before you have a clue about your purpose and why you exist.
For some, having the Determination Letter in hand, immediately creates a sense of “everyone will give us money”… sorry, but this is not true. The key to finding support of any kind for your organization is knowing who is “your ideal audience”.
For example, if your organization’s mission centers around providing meat to hungry children, it makes little sense to respond to RFPs (Request for Proposals) that center around encouraging children to become vegetarians. Or even worse, if you have no ideas regarding your proposed program(s), but try to develop your organization by going after any and every pot of money that you see and requesting donations from anyone with a pocket… you have certainly NOT gotten off on the “good foot”. Do you see where I am going? Many times we are so anxious to get started that we look for funds in all the wrong places. With this, we are more likely to be rejected than we are to be rewarded.
Knowing your target audience starts with realizing your mission. Your mission helps you to understand not only who you are, but who you are serving, why you are serving them, where you are serving them, and what impact will your service have on them. Once you have a complete understanding of this concept, you will be better able to attract your ideal audience and donors and funders who readily buy-in to your cause.
Click Here to download 7 Quick Steps To Move From 501C3 Formation to Funded
To Your Success,