Sisterhood Agenda

Nonprofit NGO’s: How to Start Your Own

Angela D. Coleman
Latest posts by Angela D. Coleman (see all)

The number of nonprofit organizations and non-government agencies (NGOs) is growing.  Being of service helps your community and, as many people have experienced, you can even make a very good living doing it.  Is there an unmet need in your community? Think about how you can meet that demand and make the world a better place.  Why not get started?

Get Started

More and more women are becoming founders for positive social change.  Being the founder of a nonprofit or NGO means that you a changemaker.

Becoming a changemaker is a big, bold step that increases the quality of life for you and other people.

You are also a social entrepreneur. Just like more conventional business entrepreneurs, you need to study and learn your business.

Things to think about when just starting:

  • Be clear about your intention and reasons for starting a nonprofit organization or NGO
  • Develop the idea
  • Set up the structure
  • Board and staff development
  • Operating issues
  • Fundraising
  • Advertising & public relations

Business is business

Even if your agency is not organized for profit, it is still a business and needs to be operating as such.  The same business principles and strategies for success in for-profit business ventures are applicable to nonprofit agencies, as well.

Entrepreneurship presents great:

  • Opportunities
  • Profit
  • Independence
  • Risks
  • Challenges

Common mistakes

A common mistake is worrying about making mistakes! Do not worry about making mistakes.  All of your decisions will not be perfect and each one is an important part of your learning curve.  However, you can avoid these top 10 common mistakes:

  1. Poor initial research
  2. No business plan or one that is very limited in scope
  3. The purpose is not truly a charitable purpose
  4. Failure to register and maintain business records
  5. Failure to keep good records
  6. No funding plan to sustain the organization over time
  7. Noncompliance with IRS or NGO statutes
  8. Misjudging time requirements
  9. Not building effective leadership and/or a contributing board of directors
  10. Not investing in professional talent


There are many resources available for starting and maintaining a nonprofit organization. Some books that I like:

Sisterhood Agenda offers consulting and support services for other nonprofits, also. Just CONTACT US.  I hope that this information is helpful!

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