This article appeared in print as part of “Ask & Give: Female Entrepreneurs Rally in Columbia” Growing up, it didn’t take long for Liz...
Employment in the for-profit business sector has grown by two to three precent over the last 10 years — that’s compared to 20 percent in the nonprofit sector. Data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statics shows that, in 2012, nonprofits accounted for over 11 million jobs in the United States, and to educated, diverse, and socially conscious millennials entering the workforce, nonprofits can seem like a good alternative to their profit-driven relatives.
New Chapter Coaching specializes in providing leadership development and capacity-building services to help nonprofits. Jessica Macy, New Chapter’s senior associate, says that a nonprofit “is filling a community need that no one else has filled.”
Nonprofits can be a great way for people to be at the forefront of social change — entrepreneurial types may even be tempted to start their own nonprofit. For these people who have a passion for helping others, giving back to their community, or bettering their society, Macy lays out the path to follow:
There is one crucial question to ask yourself before considering creating your own nonprofit: Is there a need?
A simple question, sure, but it’s one that many unsuccessful nonprofits failed to answer before starting. Macy has spent many years in the nonprofit industry and stresses the importance of doing your homework.
“See who else is doing what you’re trying to do,” she says. “There might be groups already doing that work.” And the more organizations there are with a similar purpose, the harder it will be to get funding and support. But, if you can answer that question to complete satisfaction, here are the steps you take next:
In Columbia, there haven’t been too many startup nonprofits in the past few years, so there is room to grow — “But only some make it,” Macy warns. “There is a real high probability of failure and a lot of it depends on your budget size. The more money you have, the higher the chance for success.” So what is her best advice? “Make sure to stay in touch with the people you’re serving and make sure that your mission is always at the forefront.”