Start a Nonprofit: Creating a Nonprofit From the Inside Out

Learning how to start a nonprofit organization for many is a daunting task and is prone to taking people on a wild goose chase across the internet and cost them much more than necessary. One way to avoid the pitfalls and wasted expense is to consider starting a nonprofit from the inside out when creating the nonprofit and the task will be much easier. Creating from the inside out is a sure way to cut down the time and expense in the creation of a nonprofit 501c3 as I will explain below.

Many, when starting a 501c3 nonprofit, begin by filling out paperwork to establish their nonprofit, costing them expensive fees. Compiling the information and process they need to create the nonprofit can take a long and grueling toll on the founders. Once the nonprofit is created, they begin working on their branding and continue on to fund raising. Once they have established some success in fund raising and charity work the programs are rolled out and nonprofit work begins. In this example, those starting the nonprofit are beginning from the outside and working in. The disadvantages of this method are many. First, the creation of the nonprofit in this example can become very daunting, expensive, time consuming and even tempt the founders that the reward of creating a nonprofit is not worth the challenges. Secondly, many times when nonprofits are created in this manner the nonprofit paperwork is put together with only a limited idea of what the nonprofit will eventually be involved in. This can require redoing paperwork and even programs in the future. Yes, the nonprofit is established but not necessarily in a manner that is as straightforward or stable as it could be.

I believe it is best to work from the inside out when establishing a nonprofit. By working from the inside to the outside it is much easier to create the nonprofit with all the facets necessarily so that once the nonprofit is established and running it stays “spot on” without a quiver.

When creating a nonprofit from the inside out you start with a “picture” of what you eventually want the nonprofit to look like. It is also good practice to create a roadmap of the things you would like it to accomplish. These goals and the picture are a great way to establish what the nonprofit will look like and be accomplishing once it is fully functioning. At this stage, I like to imagine the nonprofit engaged in every avenue possible. Make the vision grand and encompassing and create a masterpiece that anyone would want to be involved in.

Now you can begin working inside out as you establish the nonprofit and know exactly how the nonprofit will operate, what it will be involved in, and even how it will accomplish its mission. Like building a house, you can now start with the foundation, move on to the framework, and finish by moving in. You may even consider Fiscal Sponsorship when creating the nonprofit as the sponsorship makes it easier and quicker to make sudden changes in the structure or even the mission. Fiscal Sponsorship even allows you to establish the nonprofit as an independent nonprofit at a time in the future, once you better understand how the nonprofit will operate and be involved in.