You’ve been considering a big idea for a non-profit in your area. Now, how do you get the funding that you need to make it work? You need to stop and think long and hard about what you will have to do. First, be realistic with your goals. Is there another company doing the same type of work in your area that would potentially be a rival when it comes to asking for help? You may want to avoid this type of service if the answer is yes. While it is certainly a wonderful idea to have multiple organizations dedicated to helping others, you may find that the first group gets more funding because they are better known in your community.
However, if you do have a great idea that you believe will be supported by others, you will want to first create a case statement. This is how you will tell people what you plan to do and what exactly your mission is. This should convince them why they should support your cause. Then, read on for five ways you can get seed money for your start-up non-profit organization.
Search for community members who are already well-connected in your area and get together with them. This could be well-known community leaders in your town or county or popular business owners. These people may be passionate about your cause more than others since it can potentially benefit their own community. Talk with them and present your case statement. Ask if they would like to be board members. Once you get them together you can ask them to help you raise funds that are necessary to start your project. This can include community fundraising events and donations from individuals.
Ask for Individual Donations
Get in contact with people you believe could help you out. This could include your own family members, friends, bosses or co-workers. New ventures usually start with the help of individual donations, volunteers, board members, community members and the founder of the nonprofit organization. Larger, national foundations typically avoid funding smaller startups. Instead, they may only provide help to those that have proven track records and who have IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Start networking with people who may have connections to those who have the ability and resources to support your cause. You can then present your case statement to ask for donations as well as launch a large community fundraiser to entice other supporters.
Look for Organizations with Vested Interest
There may be organizations that will be more interested than others concerning the group you are trying to launch. For example, you may be attempting to raise money to fund a new soup kitchen in your area. If so, get in contact with your local churches, homeless advocacy groups and other local assistance groups for help. They may be willing to provide cash donations because they can then point people who are in need of your services to your door once you open. If they cannot help by providing cash, they may be able to spare volunteers for fundraising efforts or set-up or provide you with free office space for a short period of time.
Find a Fiscal Sponsorship
If you are trying to find grants from foundations, a fiscal sponsorship is yet another way to go. This is a formal procedure that will allow an organization that does not yet have IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to apply for grants and to solicit for tax-deductible charitable donations. If there are nonprofit organizations near you that have the same type of charitable mission statement that your organization plans to have, get in contact with them. The sponsor who is already tax-exempt will make sure that you use the funding for tax-exempt, charitable purposes. A written contract between both parties is the usual practice when one organization funds a fiscal sponsorship. The contract will clearly state the responsibilities of each party, any type of fee the sponsor plans to charge for the service and what will happen with the assets once the sponsorship is over.
Check out Local Foundations
Local foundations in your area may be more than willing to give a grant to a new nonprofit group. It is usually easier for a smaller, newer group to receive funding from local foundations than it is for a national foundation to procure money. Start by searching for organizations online that provide new entrepreneurs with grants.
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