3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Nonprofit

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Nonprofit

Jessica Sutherland, founder of Homeless to Higher Education (Source: H2H)
H2H Founder Sullivan with "Student Zero" James Ward, her first mentee and first beneficiary of H2H (Source: H2H)

Two–Why are you doing it? Why this cause? Why should it be you? Why should it be now? You’d better know the answer to this one. Clearly define the problem you’re trying to solve and do your research. Are there other organizations doing what you want to do? If there are, why do you need to start your own? Couldn’t you just join one of the others? Why is your plan better than what’s already being done?

Three–Who will help you do it? A nonprofit is a business and you can’t do it all by yourself. You will be calling in a lot of favors from your network, just like any other business venture.  You may feel exceptionally passionate about your cause, but will others be willing to donate their financial resources and skills to help you do it? You need to surround yourself with people who care as much about your cause as you do so they [willingly] donate their labor. And you need to appeal to donors to care about your cause enough to share their money.

What are five apps you can’t live without that help manage life as a nonprofit owner?

Funny that you ask that, as we’re working to develop a case-management app that will streamline the H2H program for clients, mentors, and our research. Why? Because nobody else makes what I want.  I do most things on a MacBook Pro, so I don’t use many apps on my phone for the business. Beyond our roots in social media, I spend a lot of time with Google products:

1. YouTube

2. Facebook Pages Manager

3. Twitter

4. Tumblr

5. All the Google Stuff