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Is Starting a Nonprofit the Best Next Step?

In the video, we covered five alternatives to starting a nonprofit:

  • Volunteering on your own
  • Partnering with an existing nonprofit
  • Launching a mutual aid project
  • Finding a fiscal sponsor
  • Starting a business

Choosing a structure should be based on how much time you plan to invest and for how long, how much it will cost and who will invest, whether there are risk and liability issues, and whether people will want to deduct donations on their taxes. Those are big questions! You may find it helpful to envision the role you envision for your work in your community’s future.

Activity: Begin With the End In Mind

Imagine a day in the life of your community, five years from now. If you’ve been successful in your work, how does the community look different?

  • Did you solve the problem once and for all?
  • Are you personally still working on the problem? In your spare time or full-time? Alone, or with other people? Are you the boss, or part of the team?
  • How much does the solution cost, or is your solution actually earning money?
  • Are you still working with the same community or did you spread out?
  • Do you have a bank account? a website? an office?

On mutual aid, fiscal sponsorship, social impact business:

Test your knowledge

Why should you consider alternatives to starting a nonprofit?