If you have a cause that you truly care about and are willing to go as far as you can to champion it, you might want to consider starting a charity to spread your cause to a broader audience.
However, setting up a non-profit organization does not come easy. It is a heavily regulated area and could involve lots of steps.
As you embark on this exciting and daunting venture, there are many things you need to know. So, refer below for some of the most important things to consider when launching a charity.
As with anything, the first step is to do your research. When you open a non-profit organization, you will be competing with other charities regarding grants, donor funding, and volunteer support.
You should fill a significant need that other organizations have not yet met to be successful. So, do your research well.
Research the number of people who would be able to benefit from your non-profit. Depending on your reason for setting up a charity and what you want to achieve, there may be better ways to achieve your goals.
Next, find out if other existing charities have the same purposes and activities as yours. See if another non-profit organization within your area is doing the same thing.
If so, you may need to adjust your idea or consider partnering with another non-profit organization instead of opening a new one.
Try to reach out to the people who can benefit from your charity and gather inputs from other non-profit organizations as well. Find out what else is needed and how you can meet these.
Ask about any potential challenges that you could face and plan how you can overcome them just in case.
2. Registering Your Charity
Since your non-profit organization will be charitable, you must register it. An organization is considered charitable if it operates exclusively for charitable purposes regardless of size and income.
But before you can register, you must have a name for your charity and identify its purposes.
When choosing a name for your non-profit organization, you must keep in mind some important things. First, it should not have the same name as another charity. Also, it should not mislead the public and offend anyone.
Remember that when you register, the information about your charity will be made available to the public.
There are many reasons people should have access to this information, but usually, it’s because they need to know if your organization is genuine before they give any donations.
Therefore, when registering your charity, you must include the primary name of your organization as well as other names by which it will be called.
You must already know your charity’s purposes before you register it. Since you are running a charity, the aim should be charitable.
When you apply to register your organization as a charity, they will use the information you provided to decide if the organization’s purpose is merely charitable and for the benefit of the public.
Therefore, you must completely fill out the application form section where you write your charity’s purposes. They will compare the purposes you have identified to how you plan to operate your organization, so you must indicate this in the application clearly.
3. Marketing Your Charity
After you have registered your charity, the next important step is to promote or market it to the public. That way, you can start accepting grants and donations.
When it comes to promoting your charity, social media is the most powerful tool you can use. But creating a social media account is not enough. You need to have plenty of followers who will interact with your content and help spread the word about your organization.
You must first analyze your demographic and sign-up to several social media platforms, then think of content that can easily attract your followers’ attention. The content should be consistent, relevant, and customer-centric.
You must post daily updates regarding your charity, including campaigns and events. This is a great way to educate your followers on what your organization is trying to achieve.
Each post must come with appropriate hashtags, allowing people interested in your cause to find you easily.
Follow the account of donors you want to attract. Use your content to persuade them to follow your account and know more about your organization. It will also help if you follow key figures in your industry, including other organizations you aspire to become.
Make sure you engage your followers. Like their posts and reply to their comments. Taking an interest in their posts can go a long way in convincing them to get to know your organization even more.
Charities that work with children must follow safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that the kids are safe from harm.
Ensure that all trustees and volunteers are well-informed regarding the latest measures on child safeguarding, take relevant safeguarding training for charities, and make sure that everyone in the organization knows what to do in case they suspect that a child is at risk.
According to law, safeguarding duties apply to charities working with children, including those that come into contact with children. Under this law, every organization member must adhere to the safety measures set by the local safeguarding children’s board.
Aside from implementing the safety procedures, it’s also important that members of the organization will undergo regular child protection training.
The organization must also have a safeguarding officer who will handle any concerns regarding the child’s safety and coordinate with the local authority’s safeguarding board.
Safeguarding training is a legal requirement for everyone working with children, including volunteers. The training will also discuss the latest legislation related to safeguarding. It will also include discussions about signs of child abuse and how to report any concerns.
Depending on your role in the organization, you will require different levels of safeguarding training. For instance, if you are only in contact with kids briefly, you only need to undergo level 1 safeguarding training.
However, those directly involved with the kids must undertake a more intensive level of training.