The hardest part of starting a non-profit is getting the courage to start! There is a delicate balance between planning and analysis paralysis. It’s important to do your research and think through your business, but be careful not to get stuck in an endless cycle of over-thinking and deliberation. My best advice is to pick just one task and follow through with it, the rest will follow. It’s a snowball effect: once you start moving, it’s easier to keep going. It can be very nerve racking to take that first step, but feels great once you finally do and it has a momentum effect!
A great first step is to establish your mission, vision, and values. Having a clear purpose and desired outcome for your organization is imperative. You need to know what you’re doing, why, and how before you can start! How can you or your organization know how to meet your goals if you don’t know where you’re going? Defining your purpose helps you shape the rest of your organization around that driver. But where do you start?!
1) Identify at least three people you trust and whose input you value. These will be the folks who review your first draft of your mission statement, vision, and values and help you revise them.
2) Spend about 20 minutes jotting down ideas that come to your head when it comes to what your possible mission, vision, and values for your organization might be. Don’t over think it–just write down whatever comes to mind first and give yourself a time-limit for this task.
3) Read my next blog post that will:
define mission, vision, and values
give you examples of each
coach you through drafting yours