10 Nonprofit Ideas for Starting Small
10 Nonprofit Ideas for Starting Small
Over the years, some of my clients have been discouraged from getting started because they felt that they needed a half million dollars to even consider starting their 501c3 nonprofit. Although that works fine, it is not necessary. It is perfectly acceptable to start small – but it doesn’t mean you have to stay small (unless you want to, of course). Even if your overall goal is to build schools, operate internationally, have multiple locations, and a multimillion dollar budget to find significant research – you can still get started right where you are and grow from there. Here are 10 nonprofit ideas for starting small.
- You could host a lecture series. You can sign up as a volunteer at a nearby school, library, university, church, community center or large corporation. Offer to share your story and resources to benefit their audience and to inspire them to make positive decisions. Remember, you only have to be one step ahead of a person to encourage or help them.
- Volunteering is an excellent place to start. Think of a cause that you are passionate about. Find existing charities online that focus on the areas you care about. Contact them and ask if your 501c3 nonprofit can partner with them by volunteering at their upcoming events or projects.
- Be a mentor. You don’t have to be a celebrity to be a role model or hero to a child. There are students in need of after-school mentors that will encourage them to stay in school, make good decisions, and stay committed to their dreams. Your 501c3 nonprofit can contact local schools and community centers to find out how you can get involved. You can then recruit other volunteers to be mentors on behalf of your nonprofit as well.
- Donate money. You can agree to give a portion of your income to benefit a cause you are passionate about. I personally believe in tithing (giving 10% to a church that makes a difference in the community) as well as giving to local nonprofits. This is something I’ve done for years. You can also encourage people you care about to get involved by sharing the charitable work your nonprofit is doing with your friends and family by encouraging them to join you. This can multiply the impact that you are making in the community.
- Donate in-kind goods. Your 501c3 nonprofit can collect and donate food, clothes, toys, hygiene items, etc., to a local children’s hospital to brighten a child’s day, a nursing home, a homeless shelter, or provide them to military troops overseas. Instead of selling your used clothes, you can choose to give away your old clothing. You can slo sell items you’re not using and use the proceeds from the sales toward supporting your 501c3 charity.
- Offer services. You can contact a school, church, community center, hospital, nursing home, hospice, retirement community, and volunteer to offer professional services for free during the holidays through your 501c3.
- Be a resource. Share information you have learned with others that are trying to get where you are. You will find that it will come back to you and you will go farther than if you kept all your information to yourself. Brand the training, webinar, ebook, etc. under the name of your 501c3 nonprofit.
- Start a campaign. My husband and I decided early in our marriage that we wanted to start a charitable tradition in our family. WE collected clothing and purchased new toys and books and launched our annual “Clothing & Toy Drive for the Homeless.” Each year, donate items to a local charity or homeless shelter around the holidays to make a difference. Again, you don’t have to be a billionaire to mobilize your family and even friends to something to make a difference through your 501c3 nonprofit.
- Involve your family. Consider taking the time to build a relationship with your family and ask them to get involved with your 501c3 nonprofit. Ask them questions. Listen to their interests. Then offer ways that are meaningful to them that they can volunteer and get involved. Speak kind and encouraging words to them and inspire them to reach their goals as you collectively give back to help others.
- Encourage others. Once you are giving back to others through your 501c3 nonprofit, be sure to encourage those around you to do the same. When you inspire others to give back, it increases the impact you are making. For example, if you begin collecting canned food to donate to a local homeless shelter to feed people in need, you may be successful at providing food for a few families. However, if you post a video on social media sharing with your followers online that you are committed to supporting the local homeless shelter in your area and encouraging them to also donate, you are now impacting hundreds if not thousands of families.
Share openly with your supporters the causes that you believe in and the things you value. This will allow them to connect with you not only as an individual, but to know that by supporting you, they are supporting something greater that will have a lasting impact on society and the world. You will find that you will attract people that will enthusiastically support your efforts because they believe in the difference you are making.
If everyone used their talents to encourage another person to make a difference, the world would be a better place. Nonprofit ideas for starting small are a good place to begin, but you can always improve and grow.
At Chisholm Law Firm, we have a 100% success rate for our clients. You can rest assured that your nonprofit is in the best hands. We’ll get everything done right the first time. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.