Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Starting a Nonprofit

There are over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States today. All of them have had a passionate founder or a group of committed individuals, who saw a need, had the willingness and capacity to get organized, or who wanted to realize their own big dream of doing good and giving back.

To be able to make a nonprofit organization viable, the founder(s) need(s) more than good intentions. Forming a nonprofit is like forming a for-profit company: you must know the business you want to get into, possess management and leadership skills, have connections and supporters, have the time and energy to devote to the endeavor, and be able to anticipate the unthinkable and act accordingly.

The founder also needs to make sure that this organization is needed. Find out whether somebody is already providing the service you intend to offer. Is the timing right? Do you have initial funds to get going? Do you have a clear plan that guides your strategic decisions and will bring in revenue? Being prepared and well covered is the only way to ensure that your organization will still be there next year or 10 years from now.