Do you have a charitable passion you want to commit to? Below are a few reasons to start such a venture and steps you can take to get started.

Seek out sponsor(s) who can support your cause and effectively provide you with seed capital to start and operate your organization.

Most companies allocate funds to certain causes and are also interested in aligning themselves with causes that can help their brand and raise their profile in the community. Utilise this selling point when talking to prospective sponsors. Do your homework and find out the history of past alignments of companies you are looking into.

The key to your venture’s success is the knowledge of how to raise funds effectively and how to structure your expenses.

You will have to pitch your cause to the marketing departments of companies who have already made provisions in their budgets for charitable causes. Put a proposal together as to how you can benefit the community and in the bargain create awareness for the sponsors, compelling them to collaborate with you in this endeavor. Get someone who has fundraising expertise on your team and ask them to help you put a plan together.

Understand that “charitable” does not mean that everyone needs to work for free.

But it does allow you to solicit people to volunteer services and help out alongside their regular jobs and careers. Make sure you have a concrete funding plan and don’t forget to allocate money to yourself and other staff (volunteers or paid) who help with day to day operations.

Put together a board or a core committee and clearly define each member’s role or responsibility.

Keep in mind that those who volunteer are often less effective in absence of clearly set expectations or goals. Many of those who already own businesses are interested in giving back. These days, the concept of “volunteering” has taken on a whole new meaning for women entrepreneurs. It can mean creating jobs in poor third world countries or donating a portion of proceeds to charity.

Consider starting your passion project as a non-profit from the start and taking advantage of all that this structure has to offer.

Even if you are not sure about starting a non-profit, the most important thing is to be passionate about your cause and what you are accomplishing. Your enthusiasm and passion should radiate and influence others who can help you and in turn attract opportunities and resources to make your idea effective and fruitful.

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