8 Tips for Starting a Nonprofit

Have you ever thought about starting a nonprofit organization?  A Walden Master of Public Administration graduate did.  In 2001, Steve, a native of Maine, relocated to Cambodia and was offered a contract as a Property Management Specialist where he built a database of non-expendable/personal property for the US government.  Ultimately he was tapped to do the same in 18 developing countries.  While traveling, Steve was exposed to many organizations and began noticing ways to mine their data to explain variances and improve processes.

Building upon his background in database and real estate management, Steve worked with his Walden University instructor, Rebecca Martin, to design Excellence In Public Service (EPS) as part of his graduate coursework.

Established two years after completing his MPA, EPS helps existing nonprofits connect with communities and volunteers.  It also introduces donors and investors to innovative and emerging organizations that may not otherwise have appeared on their radar for years to come.  EPS does this by promoting capable, transparent, and accountable public service plus ensures greater civic engagement and empowerment through education and technology.  Steve achieves this by collecting performance, program, and demographic data on local and international nonprofits and public service contractors.

Below are 8 tips Steve offers to Walden students who are considering starting a nonprofit:

  1. Strengthen your research and writing skills while you are pursuing your degree at Walden.
  2. Think critically and try new ways of doing things.
  3. Allow yourself to daydream! It is a leadership characteristic and helps you generate new ideas.
  4. Take advantage of social media, such as LinkedIn, to be exposed to a broader world of ideas and critical thinkers.
  5. Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel. There is a lot of information available for free if you do your research.
  6. Talk to people! You never know who you will meet with the same passions as you who can be a resource.
  7. Avoid burnout by remembering that you do not need to solve tomorrow’s problems today.
  8. Actively seek out inspiration to stay motivated.

One quote that has inspired Steve for over 20 years comes from W.H. Murray: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

What serves as your inspiration?

Written by Career Services Advisor, Andrea Obrycki