Sometimes, it is good to give back to society by doing things that make a positive difference. One way to do this is by forming a non-profit business based in the community. If you are always driven by a personal intuition to improve your society, you belong to the nonprofit world. Here’s how you can start this worthy journey.
Craft a Well-Thought-Out Business Plan
No business can successfully exist if it is not hinged on a credible and comprehensive business plan. First, do a background check to ensure that there is no firm running in your region with a similar name. Remember, you need to raise more than you spend at all times. Start by crafting a master plan that lists all probable donors. Such a program enables you to have a roadmap on how your firm will survive in the long run. You need to have reserves for the rainy days too!
Build Your Brand
Now that you have clear groundwork on how you intend your nonprofit business to run think about building your website and brand. They are essential tools in defining how your organization sets out to achieve its goals while sticking to its mission.
Think about what sets you apart from other similar firms and endeavor to promote that particular aspect. What’s your business persona? How about reaching your clients and attracting more donors? Emphasize such considerations. Others include:
- Social media profile
- Press briefings
- Marketing portfolios
Secure a Merchant Account
If you dream of commencing a nonprofit organization, you should be prepared to accept external funding because it would be virtually impossible to run the firm using your own finances. The only way to get this done is to create a legitimate merchant account. Donors need to trust you and your initiative. First, you need to enter into contractual binding between yourself and the merchant-acquire (payment processor, i.e., MasterCard) such that your nonprofit company can receive online donations (via credit or debit cards) and have them deposited directly into the arranged bank account. What’s more, the merchant account can list monthly fees incurred, cost of processing debit and credit cards, among other things.
Secure Payment Forms
Donations are a volatile prospect hence the need to source online nonprofit payment processing forms that are highly secured and which operate on an encrypted server. Remember, these forms are meant to store private donor info, such as the debit and credit card details. Hence, it’s only fair to get the forms tailored to the donor’s liking. Donors should be able to make a payment or donation without any hindrances seamlessly.
Open a Bank Account
This venture will solely operate on contributions from well-wishers, thus the need to create a bank account where processed payments and donations will be deposited. Don’t get confused, a merchant account and a bank account share a one-to-one relationship based on coexistence. Your nonprofit business should have both of these accounts.
In essence, running both merchant and bank accounts helps you to control funds and contributions without a hand of help from online web forms. Put in mind that there’s no third-party processor hence the need for donations to be taxed as required by law once they are directly deposited into the accounts.
Secure Payment Gateway and Web Portal
You need to have a secure channel that connects the merchant account with the payment and donations software. This payment gateway aids in providing an array of services: API to enable multi-interface transaction processing, security, and exclusive reporting.
Moreover, your nonprofit firm needs to have access to online transaction reporting. This kind of dedicated feedback should include every possible payment and donations detail that will then enable you to interact with data easily. This intricate process can be achieved on the web portal. Such a portal should provide timely access to any transactional data. The data retrieved from real-time feedbacks will help your firm generate reports, reprocess failed charges, edit data, and control payment data. What’s more, the exclusive portal will help you view fund deposits, manage bank and merchant accounts as well as process refunds.
The idea of starting up a nonprofit business organization is easier on paper than it is on the ground. There are so many factors involved, as mentioned in the article. Each one of them should be carefully undertaken to ensure an impactful, long-lasting nonprofit venture.
Guest author, Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.