Monday, August 13, 2012


It seems as if 1 out of 5 of my recent conversations has been with individuals who are considering starting a nonprofit organization. In the Tallahassee community there are a large number of people who are truly passionate about helping others.  This is definitely commendable!  These conversations have piqued my curiosity as I wonder how many people have done the research required to start and operate a successful nonprofit organization.  A nonprofit is like any other type of business in that certain steps must be taken before the business can be successful. 

You Must Have a Plan
I believe the first step in the process (developing the business plan) is the most time consuming, but it is probably the most important step.  Unfortunately, this is the step where most people take a shortcut.  I believe it was Harvey MacKay who said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

You may ask, what’s so important about writing a business plan when I have all of my ideas in my head?  My answer: We usually have so many things on our minds, that it is difficult to keep track of everything. Plus, when you start writing your ideas on paper, you can begin to put the missing pieces together.  Think of your plan as a road map to a successful business.  If you do the research and you plan properly, your chance of succeeding will be greater.

So, step #1 when starting a nonprofit organization is to create a thorough business plan.

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