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How to Start an NGO

How to Start an NGO

Anyone can start a charitable, non-profit viagra homéopathique Non-Governmental Organization [NGO], but you’ll need more than just a great idea to make it work.

Finding a niche is a good place to start. Start small; launch your idea by doing something to gain credibility and media attention. Expand on your idea by working for a few months with what you have. After you have gained some experience you can assemble an action plan, which should include putting up a website, blogging and social networking to illustrate what you have already done to launch your NGO plus a clear outline of how you plan to direct your passion.

Non-profit versus For-profit

Activities span from the micro-management of daily activities to macro-managing the organization as a whole. You will need resources, knowledge, skills and support throughout your journey, and be prepared for every eventuality. You need to know the difference between a non-profit and a for-profit business. When you start a regular business the goal is wealth creation, generating financial benefit for its owners or shareholders; the business pays taxes on that profit. ​A non-profit entity like your proposed NGO generates funds to benefit the ‘greater good’ of the community or society; while it does not pay taxes, an NGO can make a profit but the funds must be used solely for the operation of the organization and to further its intended purpose. When a for-profit organization fails, its assets are usually liquidated and the proceeds distributed among the owners or shareholders. When a non-profit goes out of business, its remaining assets must be transferred to another non-profit.

Finding a niche

It is not too difficult to find a charity you care about and a desire to uncover ‘a major breakthrough’ to resolve a critical social problem. While options abound, some of the most important missions today are early childhood development, youth development, human development and self-sufficiency, entrepreneurial instruction, and ending rural poverty. We all want to live in a world where every man, women and child can live a contented, capable life.  The aim of every NGO therefore should be to empower civil society to receive enough training in some field so that individuals may assume responsibility to stand on their own two feet and make their way in life by being self-reliant. The purpose of an NGO should be to create the preconditions for reform and change, not perpetuate lifelong reliance on support. It may sound like strange advice, but the fundamental goal of all NGOs should be to become obsolete; ideally you should build the NGO to the point where it can function independently of your leadership.

Tackle deep-rooted problems

Starting a charitable NGO to tackle deep-rooted social problems one step at a time demands consistent hard work. The rules and regulations to establish an NGO vary from country to country; in some countries the process is relatively uncomplicated with established organizations willing to support your cause, while in other countries you will need to contract legal support before becoming a registered charitable organization. If you are committed to starting an NGO you need to first evaluate the environment you plan to work in and write a detailed business plan, followed by registering your new venture. Identify if there are similar organizations operating in your proposed field and location. If you want your new NGO to really make an impact there is little point in duplicating the work of other more established organizations. Speak to government officials, community leaders and cultural groups to gain a perspective of what is successfully being done and also identify unmet needs and grievances. Liaise with NGOs in your chosen location and field to discuss your proposed project with them; you might find opportunities to collaborate on local issues or common challenges.

The all-important Business Plan

Running a non-profit organization is carried out in much the same way as running a regular business. You should have a thorough understanding of the charity you want to develop, strategies you will use to grow your business, important information regarding your target market, your main competitors, marketing strategies, forecasted business growth and how you plan to achieve your goals. Your first step is to research and write a comprehensive business plan to convince investors to pitch in, one that outlines your vision and passion for the business you wish to start. Make it obvious why your NGO is destined for success. Be clear about the type of services you want to deliver and how you will reach your target audience. Bear in mind that each service requires significant work to support it, including designing a needs analysis, project management, fundraising and human resources. A common reason why some new NGOs fail is because they stretch themselves too thinly; focus on developing one really prominent project to kick off  ‘a major breakthrough’ goal that will make a tangible difference to peoples’ lives.

  • Write a Mission Statement that will guide the organization and inform others [beneficiaries, donors, partners, and media] what your organization does and its purpose. It must capture the essence of the problem you want to solve, concise and easy to understand.
  • How do you plan to fund your NGO and related services? Fundraising is an ongoing concern for almost all charitable organizations to deliver their services. A fundraising mix includes grants, member subscriptions, trading, and donations. NGOs are expected to be transparent about how they generate revenue.
  • Who will be responsible for critical tasks within your NGO? You may find it necessary at the start of your NGO to operate with an entirely volunteer staff. Workers will need to be skilled and reliable to undertake the tasks assigned to them. For example, assign specific jobs such as research, fundraising, service monitoring, governance, promotion, networking, finances, and public relations. There is a good chance that most of these responsibilities will be your responsibly. Keep expenditure at a minimum. Some NGOs are able to establish themselves by getting an established NGO to accept you under its umbrella. This arrangement could mean communal office space, secretarial services, accounting services, and boardroom. You could operate your NGO from your home, or hire low-cost local community space to deliver services. On the other hand, setting up a care home for elderly people or a daycare centre for young children will require

    a modified building, trained staff and access to medical facilities. If your NGO focuses on advancing adult education, you could arrange with a local school to make a classroom available during after school hours.

  • Design an organogram that incorporates the different elements of your NGO. Indicate clear lines of control and responsibility as well as brief job descriptions for each role that lists precise responsibilities and expectations. You need to chart all constituent parts of your NGO and identify sub-goals that lead to major outcomes.
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