Granted, you’re such a well-meaning individual whose belief systems and life aspirations border on the saintly. You’re such a kind-hearted person who’d go through great lengths in order to make a difference in other people’s lives – like starting your own non-profit or non-governmental organization (NGO). Some people are just cut out for the word “service” and that’s a great mindset to have. However, there are some individuals who immediately take the plunge without exactly knowing where to start, and in effect, get lost along the way. Don’t overlook the following simple truths your organization must have in order to succeed.
Clarify your organization’s goal.
Why are you starting the organization? What is your cause? What do you want to achieve? These are just some of the basic questions you need to answer in order to spell out your NGO’s mission. However great they may sound, you don’t need generalized goals that go along the lines of, “I want to end poverty,” and “I want to put domestic violence into obsolescence,” because you can’t solve them on your own. Streamline your goals. Start small. And then follow through.
Be in the know about issues concerning your niche.
A concrete knowledge of what you’re going to be fighting for is important in building the core of your NGO. If you don’t research, do some field work, and talk to people who can supply input to your cause, then it’s all useless. You need a solid background about the problem you want to address and you need to be able to present the facts and information coherently if you want to succeed in gathering people who will support your cause either from within the organization (your future hires, volunteers, helpers) or from those watching from the sidelines (your donors, suppliers, clients).
Create a website to promote your cause.
Nowadays, the fastest way to spread the word is through the internet. Be sure to create a professional-looking website that will drive audiences towards your NGO. Ensure that your goals objectives are concisely explained, because people nowadays have shorter attention spans and they tend to move out if things aren’t clear to them on the onset. Create a solid identity for your organization online and little by little, you’ll be able to tap into the pool of thousands of donors and volunteers who are just looking for a cause to support.
Assess what you need financially and otherwise.
If you start your own org, you have to be able to weigh your financial options, because obviously, you’ll be starting small. You have to take note of low-cost alternatives for your needs. Take for instance BullyingCanada, an NGO recently featured on the RingCentral blog. Being a heavily phone-dependent organization that caters to anti-bullying throughout Canada, project proponent Rob Frenette recognized early on that setting up a legacy helpline service would have cost his group tons of money, so he opted for an affordable VoIP service, in this case, RingCentral, to keep costs to a minimum.
Widen your network.
Acquaint yourself with people or groups with a similar cause such as yours. Be friends with them, follow and study their activities – test them yourself to see if they’ll work for your organization. Don’t be afraid to meet people in events, conferences, and seminars pertaining to your cause. Widen your network of contacts. Who knows, you might benefit mutually for future projects, or you might end up working with them.