You want to make a real difference in the world and there is something that burns in your soul to make a change. Here are 3 hard questions to ask yourself before you decide to start a new charity.
Are you 100% sure NO ONE else is doing this work?
Your passion is strong - it's likely others share it. Before you run off and file incorporation papers, your first step is to find out who else is doing similar work. Pause and find out who else is doing work in your area of passion.
How much do you love paperwork?
If you have money to underwrite your enterprise that is valuable. and is a great start. But there is a lot of paperwork and regulatory compliance in being a charity. As a small start-up charity, you will spend way more time than you likely want on paperwork rather than on the work that fuels your soul.
Why not collaborate?
The first question people are going to ask you when you start up a charity, is "have you thought of working with [name of charity that does similar work]."
The donor public and government are increasingly reluctant to volunteer or fund every new charity that comes around the bend and strongly rewards collaboration over competition in the charity sector.
Do you love to fundraise?
Unless you have a wad of cash and are prepared to underwrite your new charity, you are going to need to interest people in your pet project. Are you really interested in making sure that this thing stays afloat by doing lots of fundraising?
Ann Rosenfield, MBA, CFRE is an award-winning professional who has been helping donors, volunteers, Boards, and neighbours make good decisions about charity for over 20 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org