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Starting and Running a Nonprofit Organization

Starting and Running a Nonprofit Organization

Joan M. Hummel
Center for Nonprofit Management
Graduate School of Business
University of St. Thomas
Copyright Date: 1996
Edition: NED - New edition, Second
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    Starting and Running a Nonprofit Organization
    Book Description:

    Starting and Running a Nonprofit Organization is a book for people who are forming new nonprofits; thinking about converting an informal, grassroots group into tax-exempt status; reorganizing an existing agency; or currently managing a nonprofit. It provides practical and basic how-to information on legal, tax, organizational, and other issues particular to nonprofits.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8728-2
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Thanks...
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. About This Revised Edition of Starting and Running a Nonprofit Organization
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The French politician Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about 160 years ago that “Americans are forever forming associations.” Today, that remains a strong characteristic of our society, and a great many critical services are provided to the American public by nonprofit associations, in addition to those provided by governments and businesses.

    Throughout the country, nonprofit organizations provide needed services to children, other young people, elder adults, the mentally and physically differently abled, and other socially or economically disadvantaged people. They promote the arts. They advocate for the rights of people in our nation’s wide range of human diversity and focus attention...

  6. A Checklist of Things to Be Done When Starting a Nonprofit Organization
    (pp. 5-8)

    This checklist is a summary of the key considerations and actions that the founders of a new nonprofit organization generally should consider. The sequence shown here will not always be the chronological way a new nonprofit develops, but this list can serve as a general guide for the development of your own checklist and target dates. Every item in this checklist is discussed in the chapters that follow.

    1. Establish the charitable purpose of the anticipated program; research whether or not other nonprofits are engaged in the same program; consider if you need to incorporate or if you could partner with...

  7. Boards of Directors: “Behind Every Good Organization...”
    (pp. 9-20)

    Your program probably owes its existence to a creative spark that went off in the heads of a few concerned individuals who came up with a good idea — the original organizers of your program. Your organization will keep going, however, because this idea is nurtured and given the opportunity to develop, change, and expand by other groups of people, including your board of directors. The board of directors is legally, financially, and morally responsible for the operations and conduct of the nonprofit corporation.

    The board should not be static. Its size, structure, and composition should respond to the evolving...

  8. Bylaws: Playing by the Rules
    (pp. 21-28)

    Bylaws are the rule book for a nonprofit corporation. They govern most of the internal affairs of your organization. They determine who has power and how that power works. They give structure to your organization, help prevent conflicts and disagreements, and can protect against the misuse of funds.

    Bylaws outline how your board of directors will operate; they specify the size of the board, the selection and tenure of board members, the number of board meetings, the numbers of officers and committees, the financial and legal procedures, and the purpose of the organization.

    Bylaws should be tailored to meet the...

  9. Legal Aspects: Cutting the Red Tape
    (pp. 29-38)

    There are a variety of legal matters that apply to nonprofit organizations, including registering with government agencies, filing reports, securing licenses, employment laws, and tax issues. Some of these concerns are governed by federal law; others, by state law. Some local governments may also have some requirements.

    Most of the procedures for handling legal matters are fairly simple once you understand them. Although it is possible to go it on your own, it can be helpful, timesaving, and reassuring to have professional legal advice, and there are attorneys who specialize in this area of law. Because attorneys’ fees can be...

  10. Mission, Vision, and Strategic Goals: Creating the Formula
    (pp. 39-50)

    Without a well-thought-out plan, which includes a clear statement of mission for your organization, a vision of the kind of organization you want to become, and well-defined goals and objectives for your programs, you not only handicap yourself in getting from here to there, but none of the people important to you will have a clear picture of where “there” is. Good planning involves both a long-range view—generally called astrategic plan— and a set of short-term objectives and related activities to undertake—sometimes called theannual plan, tactical plan, oroperating plan.

    For both long-range and short-term...

  11. Managing Financial Outcomes: Budgeting the $$$$
    (pp. 51-72)

    The budget is the financial blueprint of your organization. It is the plan that sets out your desired financial outcomes—what you intend to accomplish financially during a specific period, usually a year. (The annual twelve-month period used for financial planning purposes is called afiscal year. Often, this corresponds to the calendar year—January through December—but your fiscal year can begin with any month.)

    The budget should clearly establish what should happen inbothrevenues and expenditures as a result of your service programs, fund raising, and so on. Don’t just outline what you want to spend and...

  12. Accounting: Keeping Track of the $$$$
    (pp. 73-82)

    All organizations need workable systems for recording what they do with their money—keeping track of where it comes from and where it goes. On the other hand, young nonprofit agencies often are staffed by people unfamiliar with basic accounting methods. The purposes of this chapter are to introduce you to the types of records your agency will need, familiarize you with the elementary components of a bookkeeping system, define common accounting terms, explain that there are some differences in financial statements for nonprofits versus other kinds of organizations, and suggest how to obtain more comprehensive guidance on accounting and...

  13. Fund Raising: Finding the $$$$
    (pp. 83-100)

    What kind of funding strategy will keep your organization operating effectively? Who will fund your activities? How do you successfully approach potential funders — foundations, corporations, other businesses, government, and individuals? Will you focus on annual giving by foundations, corporations, and individuals, or will you also use special events, try to create an endowment, or establish a “planned giving” program?

    This chapter is an introduction to fund raising strategy, developing funding sources, and soliciting contributions. The information included in this chapter does not reflect everything that could be said about philanthropy and how to raise funds, but this book’s bibliography...

  14. Human Resources: Building Your Organization’s Team
    (pp. 101-114)

    At this point you may be the only paid staff of your nonprofit organization, but even if this is so, don’t skip over this chapter. You may lean heavily on volunteers to do what a paid staff does in a larger nonprofit, and whether your staff is paid or consists of unpaid volunteers, there are common principles involved in building a team and motivating people.

    To a large extent, the identity of your program in the community and with your clients is determined by your staff—the employees and your volunteers. The community looks at your staff and sees your...

  15. Community Relations: Staying in Touch
    (pp. 115-140)

    The relations you develop with your community are crucial to the success of your program. Who is your community? It consists, first of all, of those your program was designed to serve. Depending upon your program, your client constituency may be disadvantaged people who need the services you offer, all residents of a neighborhood, other individuals, nonprofit organizations, or some other group. But there likely are others as well whose understanding and support of what you’re all about are important to your organization. These could include community leaders, government agencies with an interest in the population you serve, potential donors,...

  16. Sources of Assistance: You’re Not Alone
    (pp. 141-144)

    Many organizations can provide you with advice, information, and various services. Some of these come free, some involve relatively low fees, and some cost a bundle. The most expensive advice, information, and services are those that lead you down the wrong path or waste your time. Following are several suggested approaches for securing quality assistance.

    1. State associations of nonprofit organizations exist in about half of the U.S. states. Membership fees vary. They offer a variety of products and services, such as technical assistance, educational programs, insurance plans, group purchasing programs, advocacy on public policy issues, and referrals to other sources...

  17. Nonprofit Management Bibliography
    (pp. 145-150)

    Many books are available on nonprofit management and other nonprofit sector subjects. (One publisher, Jossey-Bass, produces a “nonprofit sector series” that includes a variety of useful books.) This bibliography lists some of the books and publications that should be especially useful to those engaged in starting a nonprofit organization. Some items are not available through bookstores, but must be ordered from the originating organizations (see end of bibliography for addresses).

    A Nonprofit Organization Operating Manual: Planning for Survival and Growth. By Arnold J. Olenick and Phillip R. Olenick. New York: The Foundation Center, 1991. A guide to acquiring and managing...

  18. Index
    (pp. 151-152)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 153-153)