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How do I Learn How to Start a Non-Profit Organization?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2016
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A non-profit organization focuses its efforts on helping people and providing a service, not on making a profit. There are a few was to start a non-profit organization, and there are also some universal truths that you will need to understand before doing so. You can learn how to start a non-profit organization by taking a business class that includes this topic or by reading books about non-profit organizations. One of the best ways to learn, however, is by working at a non-profit or by serving on its board of directors, either of which will help you to learn the finer details of how these organizations operate.

No matter how you learn about starting a non-profit organization, there are some things that you absolutely must know. First, you need to consider what type of non-profit organization you will start, because some focus on charitable giving, and others are religious, educational or even scientific. An equally important step is actually setting up a system that best utilizes funds, because these organizations do take in money and pay their employees, but they put all of the profits toward its cause.

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Aside from those two important facts, you will need to understand all of the legal requirements for operating a non-profit. This type of organization must have a mission statement outlining its goals and how it will achieve them. You also must fill out the appropriate paperwork to create the organization and file for non-profit tax exemptions. It also is important to learn about any special licensing that your city requires.

If you want to learn how to start a non-profit organization, you must also research operation expenses and finances. A crucial component for charities is fundraising, so it is important for you to learn different methods for acquiring money, such as asking for donations, holding fundraising events and more. Another way to get money is through grants, typically from the government or other charitable organizations, which usually have a complex system for application and must be closely studied.

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