The nonprofit sector is such an essential part of America’s social and economic framework that we do not always realize how diverse and all-encompassing its influence actually is.

Americans are known for their pioneer temperament, community spirit, and help-thy-neighbor attitude, so it is no wonder to see nonprofit organizations spring up to address every facet of the society. Americans show social consciousness, concern for the environment, commitment to saving historical sights, duty to advocate individual rights, and an urgency do this all as a personal vocation for a cause. This commitment can lead to a desire to starting a nonprofit organization.

Starting a nonprofit requires more than passion or devotion, however. One needs understanding of financial management, knowledge of legal requirements, managerial skills, community relations, familiarity with issues in the field, friends and supporters, and more than anything, time, energy and endless patience. One needs to be extremely determined before launching an enterprise of any scope.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before taking the final step of starting a nonprofit.

  • Is somebody already doing what I would like to do?
  • Is this the right time and place for starting a nonprofit?
  • Do I have the necessary friends and supporters who would be willing to work with me?
  • How would I finance my organization?
  • Could I associate my group with an already established organization?
  • Do I understand the steps of forming a nonprofit organization?
  • Are my financial ambitions appropriate for the cause?

Read the full article about starting a nonprofit at BoardSource.