If you have decided to start your own charity, congratulations; you have already taken the first step into an honorable and gracious way of life in which you will dedicate yourself to helping others. Finding the motivation to adopt this lifestyle is half the battle, but the other half can be broken down into a series of steps to ensure your charity is functional, organized, and above all else, efficient in its purpose.
Here are a few tips for building a charity from the ground up.
Set yourself apart
Your charitable idea may seem like a great one at first, but chances are, there is already a variety of existing charities focused on the same purpose (or a similar one). Therefore, a crucial step in your charity’s construction is differentiation — the process of separating your brand from its contemporaries. By knocking out this process early into your philanthropic career, you will ensure you are noticed by the biggest audience possible, which in turn should allow you to provide your charitable services to a much wider range of people.
Do not quit your job
An unfortunate, yet common trap many aspiring philanthropists fall into is the misconception that philanthropy can instantly be made into a living. In reality, charitable living can be a long process, and it is typically not very fruitful on the financial front (not that it is your main concern, most likely). Be sure to maintain a steady income while pursuing your philanthropic vision — you may even have to personally fund your initiative at first — but remember that karma will likely reward you for your services down the line.
Focus on what you know
In most cases, the best charities are operated by an individual or group passionate and knowledge about their cause (a victim of abuse starting an anti-abuse charity, for instance). Generally, you will want to adopt this approach for your own charity. Choose what you know, and do not force yourself to form your charity around a concept or issue that you barely understand, and if you are nonetheless passionate about becoming involved, consider bringing in a partner who can bring you up to speed.