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Running a Nonprofit

Every day, individuals like you are inspired to start a nonprofit to help serve your community. Starting and sustaining a nonprofit are not easy tasks, but we applaud your commitment to helping others. The pages in this section of the National Council of Nonprofits’ website walk you through some of the questions to ask before starting a nonprofit, filings you’ll need to complete at the federal and state level, and the standard policies and procedures that your new nonprofit will want to have in place.

  • Should Your Nonprofit Take a Stand on Current Issues?A lot of gray area exists when it comes to controversial topics. What can your nonprofit say or not say? Should your nonprofit even get involved? Learn about some of the pros & cons that can come along with taking a stand.

  • How Fake News Impacts Your OrganizationInstead of waiting to defend your cause, telling and showing your audience the facts and scientific evidence before they are bombarded with false information can help prepare them to dispel any fake news they may come across.

  • Working with University Students to Get Marketing HelpCollege students are eager and ready to not only give you ideas to help you grow your nonprofit, but learn things from you as well. Here are a few benefits that come with working with universities to get marketing help.

  • How to Find Your Organization’s VoiceWhatever voice your nonprofit organization adopts for messaging, here are some best practices for communication. Follow these to connect with your constituents. It plays a significant role in how people view your charity.

  • How Writing a Book Can Help Your NonprofitHave you ever thought about writing a book? Writing & publishing has never been easier. It's not an overnight venture, but it isn't as difficult as you may imagine thanks to self-publishing, e-books & on-demand printing.

  • Six Ways to Help Your Nonprofit Adjust to a New Political ClimateEvery national, state & local election has the potential to impact communities & nonprofit organizations. To best prepare for what’s ahead, there are some things you can do to be proactive to protect your nonprofit’s interests.

  • Seven Ways You Drive Donors AwayIt can be easy to let your nonprofit board fall to the wayside and become stagnate. How can you get your trustees more involved? Here are some ways to motivate and engage your organization's board of directors.

  • How to Create a Style Guide for Your NonprofitIt’s more important than ever that your communications be consistent in both look & feel. You want your audience to identify your brand at a glance & recognize your voice quickly, or you may get lost in the crowd.

  • How to Make Your Next Meeting Less PainfulOrganizational meetings may be considered necessary, but what if you could make them a force for good? Some workplaces have taken steps to up the value of their meetings & get their team excited about gathering together.

  • How to Help Your Donors Reject the Overhead MythBelieve it or not, the overhead myth still exists, and people who donate or are thinking of donating still scrutinize nonprofits organizations, wondering what percentage of their gift actually goes toward the “cause.”

  • Six Questions to Ask Before Starting a NonprofitIf you’ve considered starting your own nonprofit organization, you should know Firespring has your back—we’re in the business of equipping nonprofits to carry out their mission and spread the word about their cause.

  • planning fundraising eventsWhen it comes to raising funds for your nonprofit organization, successful fundraising events provide a substantial contribution. Following these tips to help your events run smoothly, gain constituents & raise donations.

  • With how much work it takes to attract dedicated volunteers, what can we do to ensure they keep coming back? Here are three simple things you can do to make a great first impression and increase volunteer retention.

  • The line between nonprofit organizations and for-profit corporations used to be very clear. With the rise of benefit corporations and Certified B Corps, the two worlds are melding together now more than ever before.

  • Volunteers play a critical role in event success and regular programming for nonprofits. Developing a strong volunteer management process can enable your organization to make a bigger impact on your community.

  • An effective mission statement is even more important now than ever. When you consider writing (or rewriting) your nonprofit's mission statement, please make sure to remember to keep these three elements in mind.

  • Even if you’ve done enough fundraising to feel comfortable soliciting money, there’s still something about “the big ask” that can cause a few butterflies. Before you reach out to your donor, ask yourself these three questions.

  • Personas are not something you create for the outside world—they’re a tool you use behind the scenes to understand your target audience and how to motivate them to support your organization. Here's how to begin.

  • Whether you’re starting a nonprofit or in the process of rebuilding your board, choosing the right board members is crucial to your success. Let’s look at the who, what and whys of putting together your board of directors.

  • When nonprofits use storytelling, it illustrates progress and serves as a public declaration of identity. In 2015 at my literacy nonprofit, I learned four ways storytelling greatly helped our program improve and succeed.

  • Marketing can convince someone to give you a donation; branding will determine whether or not that person becomes a donor for life. Here are four reasons most nonprofit organizations go through a rebranding process.

  • Each nonprofit has a unique culture, but if you don’t take intentional steps to create a culture you want, you may end up with one you don’t want causing attrition. Purposefully create the right culture with these eight steps.

  • Try as you may, it’s impossible to please everyone—there will always be people who issue a complaint about your cause or organization. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Here’s the upside to having online critics.

  • Even if you feel like you’re doing all you can to earn your donors’ trust, there may be a few simple steps you can take to go the extra mile. Here are five ways to instill confidence and make your constituents proud to support you.

  • One of the most powerful marketing tools for nonprofits is a great story. Follow these five simple guidelines for finding a story that not only engages and inspires, but also supports the message you want the world to hear.

  • In planning for your next big giving season, it’s easy to forget the volunteers who provide vital services and bring passion to your nonprofit. Here are three tactics to show volunteers their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

  • Positioning yourself as a thought leader means when you share your views on issues you champion, your opinions are taken as authoritative and influential. Here are three items to focus on regarding thought leadership.

  • It’s important to position yourself as a safe and trusted organization. Your privacy policy cannot be an afterthought—it needs to be prominent and written so the average user can understand it without hiring a lawyer.

  • Content marketing gives your nonprofit a voice in the noisy online world. The question is, does your audience recognize it? The voice that you write in plays a significant role in how people view you.

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