Transition from volunteering to get employed in own nonprofit organization?


I plan to start nonprofit 501c3 that will help other nonprofits with their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) Right now I'm employed by company in similar field. There is no conflict of interest.

I already help 5-6 nonprofits for free. There was few more nonprofits asked me for help but I had to turn them down because I simply do not have time enough. That's why I got an idea to start nonprofit that will help other nonprofits for really affordable fee. I would be employed by “my” nonprofit and I'll have more time and I would be able to help many other nonprofits.

I did a lot of research and I know pretty much all about how to start nonprofit, about the registration. I have Mission statement, Business plan for first three years, Startup costs... I have also a picture in my head how the nonprofit should/could look like after 5 (or more) years.

"Only" part I can't find any information and it's totally unclear to me is my "transit" from volunteering to full time job. I know my nonprofit will not be able to employ me within the first 12 months (maybe even more). And I know I would need to keep my current job to be able to pay the rent. But after 3rd year, according to my business plan, the revenue should be big enough for me get employed. How that “transition” works? How to know when is the time for get employed? What's the “sign”? Also, if I can be employed part-time after 2nd year – is that ok? How that works?

Thanks for any help...

Non Profit

asked Mar 16 '13 at 14:52
11 points

1 Answer


Nonprofits have a controlling board or members that vote and determain the financies of the organization. This has to be defined in your by-laws before you can be given nonprofit status. Due to the need for a board or members, they will decided when it is appropriate for you to recieve pay, and how much. You can sit on the board but you cannot be the only member of the board, so you will need to work closly with the other members to decided how and when to be paid.

The general rule of thumb is to save 6 months income from your current job and transition when you believe that the nonprofit will be able to support you fully within 6 months.

answered Mar 17 '13 at 11:25
Bruce Gilson
21 points

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