Q: I would like to start a nonprofit organ- ization to help build up low-income communities, create jobs, and start inspirational programs in the schools. Can you provide assistance with government grants for minorities and women in the tri-state area? Also, I’m looking for grant writers as well as sponsors for startup capital.
— A. Taylor, New York
A: Before you do anything, you should know that starting a nonprofit organization is much like starting a small business. That means you’ll have to establish financial systems, hire staff, and prepare a personnel manual; buy insurance; and create organizational structure, mission statements, and long-range plans, according to the Connecticut Nonprofit Information Network (www.ctnonprofits.org).
For funding, try the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (www.npccny.org/grants). Its Government Grants Information Service alerts you to federal, state, and local funding opportunities. The site also details the federal funding process and how to prepare federal proposals.
Also, read the following the books: Managing a Nonprofit: How to Write Winning Grant Proposals, Work With a Board, and Build a Fundraising Program by John Riddle (Adams Media Corp.; $19.95); Operating Grants for Nonprofit Organizations 2005 (Oryx Press; $44.95); and How to Write a Grant Proposal by Cheryl Carter New and James Aaron Quick (Wiley; $39).