It’s a New Year, Let’s Start a Nonprofit: Part 3
Step 1: Compliance Requirements
I’ve learned what I need to do as a leader for Cultivate International, to keep the organization in compliance so that the Board can focus on the mission – things like renewing with the Minnesota Secretary of State each year by December 31, filing the necessary paperwork with the IRS, even registering with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as our funding base grows. These are things that I didn’t really understand going into it. To be honest, this is not knowledge that’s readily available if you just do a Google search. Legal for Good taught us everything we needed to know while helping us build a strong foundation for our long-term success.
Step 2: Knowing What to Do and What Not to Do
Legal for Good has also taught me what not to do. Unfortunately, nonprofits struggle because of they lack information, experience an unexpected change in leadership, or have uncontrolled growth. These can cause compliance and operational issues.
Legal for Good stressed making sure the small things are taken care of. Small but significant things like keeping good records, tracking board meetings meticulously, and having strong policies and procedures in place. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a nonprofit leader, is that I will never know everything that needs to be known, and I need to surround myself with people who have walked this road before me.
Looking back, I see that Legal for Good has offered me so much. It’s something that I can’t put a price tag on. If you love your nonprofit organization like I love mine, if you can’t imagine not doing this work, if you can’t accept the status quo for your community, then the investment in establishing and sustaining the organization in the best possible manner is so worth it. If you’re reading this and you know you need help, but you’re afraid that you can’t take on the financial burden – make the call. The finances will fall into place if you work hard and surround yourself with people who can help you every step of the way.