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Ep17 Transcript: How to Start a Nonprofit – Top Takeaway from Laura Stack
Andrea Vahl: Hi, late starters. It’s your host, Andrea Vahl, and in today’s episode of Top Takeaways, we’re going to dive into how to start a nonprofit. This is based on Laura Stack’s episode 16, where we talked to her about how she’s. Started her successful nonprofit.
Intro: Hello dreamers. Welcome to the Late Starters Club, giving you the inspiration, mindset, and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond. Remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Andrea Vahl: If you haven’t gone back and listened to episode 16, I highly recommend you do so. It was a powerful story from Laura about how she started her nonprofit, Johnny’s Ambassadors after the suicide death of her son due to high-THC marijuana. I wanted to highlight a few of my top takeaways from Laura’s session on how she really started this successful nonprofit and some of the things that she is doing really, really well.
Step number one is to get really clear on your mission and focus. In Laura’s case, she knew that she was really focused only on educating youth and parents. She wasn’t going into policy. She wasn’t going to be talking to lawmakers, and she has done that a little bit, but her focus and her measure is on educating youth and parents to the dangers of high THC use. And with that focus, it gives her a really clear way to measure her success in number of people she’s reached. She’s got 10,000 people that she’s connected with closely. She’s educated many more than that at the schools and functions and speaking events that she has done. But she’s got different groups that she is measuring and growing, and that’s a really great way to feel good about your progress.
Step number two is to use your network and learn. There are lots of associations out there at the state level and national level. There are clubs, there are membership sites, but one thing that Laura did was to connect with her existing networks. She’s got a great network of people. Some of them have already started nonprofits, and they were able to help her get clear on any pitfalls and all the things that she needed to have done to get her nonprofit started successfully.
Step number three is to hire a great board of directors. That’s important for a nonprofit to have a board of directors. And Laura knew who she was going to tap. She knew she who she wanted on her team, and that’s a really great step to get in there early.
Step number four was to get a lawyer. Now this may not be a step for everybody, but I think it’s a really smart decision when you’re going into something like this that might could be unfamiliar territory for you. You want to make sure you’re getting it set up right from the beginning and complying with all the laws.
Step number five was to get all the paperwork filed. There’s a lot of paperwork that goes with non-profits at the state level and making sure you’ve got that all in correctly. A lawyer can help you with that. And as Laura said it took her a good six to nine months to get everything really up and running before she could get things launched properly.
Step number six, which I think is really critical, is to treat it as a business. Now. Laura had a successful speaking business for 30 years as The Productivity Pro and trained and traveled all over the world. So she was able to tap into that skill that she had of starting that successful business, and she knew what needed to be done in terms of marketing and websites and getting social media up and running, and really getting the word out in that grassroots way.
Now, if you haven’t started a business before, you might need a little bit help in this area, in the technology site. You might need someone to create a website for you. You might need someone to help you with some of the other email systems that you might be using. But I think one of the things that Laura has done successfully is really know how to market this nonprofit so that she is getting the word out. She’s created some great Facebook groups. She’s regularly posting on social media to help get that word out, and she’s knows how to tell stories about her nonprofit to maximize the sharing. And I think that really comes from a marketing perspective.
Now we’re going to dive a little bit deeper into how to create an email list in our Quick Fix Friday so that you can also build that coalition that she talked about that has been successful for her of donors and ambassadors for her nonprofit. Hope to see you there.
Outro: Hope that was helpful, and make sure you grab the free guide. Top Tools for Late Starters on the website at latestartersclub.com and let’s turn dreaming into doing.
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