39 Days of IDEAS | Day 18: Online support for nonprofit founders
Every year, more than 60,000 groups apply for nonprofit status, and Program Associate Lauren Jeong is one of the professionals at the Foundation Center-Atlanta who counsels aspiring leaders on effective implementation of their ideas. To better serve them, Jeong explained, “the Center worked with Dr. Jesse Lecy of Syracuse University, and funding from IBM, to develop the Nonprofit Startup Assessment, an online tool that provides feedback on a variety of criteria critical to success when starting a nonprofit, including personal experience, financial stability, understanding of the local nonprofit landscape, and network reach.” Questions asked include, “Have you tested your program ideas?” and, “Where do you intend to get the majority of your funding in the first two years of operation?”
The tool then offers resources and direction to help users shore up weaknesses, build skills, and explore alternatives—such as partnering with an existing organization. The Nonprofit Startup Assessment is currently in beta testing, but already helping people think through the challenges of starting a nonprofit. One early user reported, “I was actually taking notes as I answered the questions. There was a lot I hadn’t thought of and I want to make sure I’m taking all the right steps.”
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