If you’re like many others, you saw some sort of social, emotional, or physical gap going unfilled. In a world full of charities and nonprofits, you identified that something was missing.
For some, the natural response to coming face to face with an unsolved problem is just the motivation needed to bring change. To bring change, we need other people. We need their passion. We need their heart. And we need their experience.
Groups are unofficial gatherings of people, unlike corporations, which are state and federally recognized entities that must play by very specific rules. The question I’m often asked by group leaders is “When should I turn my group into a nonprofit organization?”
Consider these questions before taking your group to the next level:
- Does your group have a reliable team?
- Does your group accept donations?
- Can your group afford to incorporate?
- What service is your group providing that another group/nonprofit is not already providing?
- Is there another group you could partner with instead of incorporating as a nonprofit organization?
- Do you think individuals, corporations or other groups will give your organization money?
Launching a 501c3 nonprofit organization takes a lot of focused energy and effort, over a long period of time, and it should not be taken lightly. Just like any other business, nonprofits are businesses too. Nonprofits need to operate within specific guidelines, laid out by the state in which they’re located, as well as federal guidelines that all American nonprofits must abide by.
If you’ve been leading a group and are enjoying the results of that group, you may want to stick with what you have. If you’re finding that your group is continuing to grow and grow and grow because it is uniquely meeting a need, it may be time to take the leap.