Non-Profit Startup Resources


I've never started a business before, let alone a charitable, non-profit organization. I search the web and find a lot of information, but other than common sense, I don't know how to tell what is good information or bad/misleading/incorrect information.

I'm looking for any recommendations of informational resources (online or otherwise) to help me answer some of the questions I have, and more importantly, help me discover other questions I should be asking.

Getting Started Resources Non Profit

asked Oct 14 '09 at 06:17
121 points

3 Answers


I can't comment here, so I will directly respond to Rob Allen who asked "why non profit" - there are a lot of reasons one might want to do this...

  • non profit does not mena no money or no salary - you can make a nice salary
  • exposure - depending ont he product or service, etc. you can get a lot more press or exposure with a non profit. Many new "advertising" markets are open to nonprofits- whereas those same avenues are not
  • access to lots of funds and money - it may seem counter-intuitive, but if your product or service or goals are aligned with other non-profits there can be a benefit since those larger non-profits may have lots of money to spend.
  • get laid (as Joel pointed out at DevDays (quoting someone else) the ultimate goal is to get laid, and chicks dig non-profits.
  • Your goal as founder may not be to get hugely rich and sell out - it could just be to change the world or make a contribution
  • Preferential tax treatment - you can operate in different ways and be treated differently for tax purposes

So, while many here are digging for gold, there are many compelling reasons for some to start a non-profit.

answered Oct 29 '09 at 00:54
Tim J
8,346 points


The first question is, why do you want to go the non-profit route rather than a for profit? There are several good reasons, but the main reason I see touted in books and online (I'm doing a similar search now actually) is so that you maintain a mission focus rather than a profit focus.

I believe (perhaps wrongly) that you can must maintain a mission focus in the current economy whether you are for or not-for profit.

So examine your rationale for going non-profit. Come up with more specific questions, and ask them here.

answered Oct 14 '09 at 06:29
Rob Allen
631 points
  • The availability of grants and donations can also be a strong reason for a non-profit. Many businesses that provide important services are not charging enough to be self-sustaining. – Paul Mc Millan 14 years ago

answered Oct 14 '09 at 08:22
Val Lynn
483 points

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Getting Started Resources Non Profit