Good afternoon, and Happy March!
With our Community Showcase & Health Fair event coming up , I want to share some insight into the importance of nonprofit organizations in our community. What does ‘nonprofit’ mean? What is the scope of the work that they do? How do you start a nonprofit? I’d like to help answer these questions so we can all support these organizations as they continue their missions!
What does ‘nonprofit’ even mean?
Contrary to the sound of it, nonprofit organizations do operate with the goal of making a profit. The distinction is that they must use this profit to further the mission of the organization – that can be via employee wages, operating costs, or a number of other standard business expenses. Being a nonprofit organization, or “NPO,” also means they are not taxed on donated income or funds raised through fundraisers. If they sell a product or service, this is still taxed. These organizations are also typically run by a paid Director, who answers to a governing Board of Directors.
What is the scope of nonprofit work?
Nonprofits can exist in any category – there are even nonprofits that exist to help people with their for-profit businesses! The scope is determined within each NPO when they first form. You can get a good feel for the scope and goals by finding their mission and vision statements – these are usually listed on each NPO website or can easily be provided. Nonprofits exist to fill a need in the community and increase the overall well-being of its residents, be it through art, music, health, fitness, government, or any number of other topics.
How do you start a nonprofit organization?
There are a number of critical steps you’ll need to take if you’re interested in forming a nonprofit. I recommend starting with the Small Business Administration (SBA) – their website alone is full of information about how to start a business, whether for-profit or nonprofit. I recommend starting with this blog on their site to get started!
Nonprofits provide a unique service to every community. Consider joining us on Thursday, March 21st to meet the NPO’s that call Sturgis home – don’t forget that there will be soup and chili entries to taste and vote on! Use this opportunity to get to know our community a little better, find causes that matter to you, and maybe even start volunteering yourself!
Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau