Some things are unavoidable such as a bad economy, however some pitfalls are easy to avoid and will aid in having a successful nonprofit with a roadmap to succeed.
Anyone thinking of starting or running a nonprofit needs to be good at:
1) Money Management
2) Fundraising Tactics
3) Self Promotion
Common mistakes of failing nonprofits fit into the categories below.
- Not Having a Qualified Leader.
A leader of a nonprofit needs the following traits: A head for business, Desire to do good, Sincerity, Confidence, Goal Setting, Organization Skills
- No Website Or Poorly Designed Website.
Make a user-friendly website, avoid bulky language, make sure the contact information is accessible & accurate. Have strong compelling content. A rule of thumb is make sure nothing is further than “two clicks deep”. Display your mission in a clear area. Have a clear button to donate on every page.
- Poor Planning and Record Keeping
No plan of action. A nonprofit is much like a business. There has to be a clear plan to get funding to stay afloat.
- Poor Accounting and Money Management
Building a solid capital structure is a key, Keep Strict Money Records, File all Documents & Forms Correctly and on time, Set Aside Seed Money, Spend wisely Evaluate Wants Versus Needs
- Marketing Only to Large Donors and Not Thinking Smaller Donors are Just As Important
Small donors are just as important as large donors. Don’t expect donors to maintain or increase the size of their contribution each time they give. Thank every donor in every circumstance they donate no matter how much they give
- Nonprofit Doesn’t Mean Tax Exempt.
Know your tax laws and file your taxes.