Should you Create a Nonprofit?

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Are you considering starting a nonprofit?  If you are, here are some tips that might help you determine if it is the right decision for you or not.

Reasons why you should start a nonprofit:

  • There is an unmet need in your community that you would like to address.
    • If there is a need in your community that is truly not being met by any organizations that are already working, then it would be a great idea to create a nonprofit that meets this need.
  • You have the time and ability to dedicate to getting the organization up and running.
    • Do not be fooled, nonprofits are a lot of work. It will take time and energy to start one and keep it going for a significant period of time. If you do not think you have what it takes to pull off this task, you might consider finding other ways to accomplish your goal.
    • You should think of starting a nonprofit in the same way you would create a business. You are an entrepreneur in this scenario, so do not underestimate the amount of work it will take.
  • You have the funds or resources to locate funds to keep the organization running.
    • Along with time and energy, nonprofits are going to require a decent amount of funds to get up and running, and even more money once they are off the ground.
    • You should make sure that you have ways to acquire funds ready to go before you start a nonprofit.
    • You should also be willing to put money in yourself if need be. People are not just going to give you money randomly, so be sure you have a plan in place for where the money is going to come from.

Reasons you should not start a nonprofit:

  • There are a high number of competitors in your area.
    • Are there a lot of other organizations or nonprofits that are working toward the same goal you are? If so, you might want to consider supporting these organizations rather than starting your own.
    • As we discussed, starting your own nonprofit will take a lot of time and resources and if there is already an organization fighting toward your same goal it might be more beneficial for all involved if you give your time and resources to them instead of putting those into starting a new nonprofit.
    • At the end of the day the only thing that matters is accomplishing the goal, and the best way to do that is the easiest way that benefits the most people.
  • You do not have enough time to tackle such a big project.
    • Do you already have a job or jobs? Or other obligations that take up most of your time? Then starting a nonprofit might not be the best choice for you.
    • Nonprofits are a lot of work, so you have to be willing and able to spend a significant amount of time on getting it up and running. If you do not have the time, then it is probably not worth spending any money or energy on the idea.
  • You do not know where you would get money from to support your nonprofit.
    • Just like any business, nonprofits need money to stay running. If you are not willing to contribute any of your personal money and you are unsure of how to get donors or fundraise, then you might want to consider not starting a nonprofit.
    • One of the biggest needs a nonprofit has is financial, and if you cannot obtain funds for the nonprofit, it will not survive.

Hopefully you found this article helpful in deciding whether or not to start your own nonprofit. This is not meant to be a discouraging article, rather it is meant to make sure that nonprofits are able to continue doing good things for our community. If there are too many people trying to start nonprofits rather than supporting ones that already exist, that takes funds away that could go towards helping the community.

Questions?

Did you know the Colorado Nonprofit Legal Center can assist with any questions you have about starting a nonprofit? Reach out today to make your nonprofit dream a reality.  You can reach us at katie@conplc.org or 720-323-2720.

By Sydney Jones

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