I am always looking for new nonprofit clients to serve and I have a sweet spot for new charities – in part because I like a challenge and in part because I hope to get them on the right track out the gate. I’m never disappointed on meeting my need for a challenge but often disappointed in changing the attitudes and beliefs that lead them down the wrong paths.
My first question for any start-up charity is simple: why are you starting a nonprofit? The common answer goes something like “I want to give back to my community,” or “I have a passion for helping children.” Most recently someone started a nonprofit to help baby turtles make the trek from nest to ocean.
That’s so sweet, right? But sweet is not quite enough anymore to peak my interest and the turtle charity was yet another example of a struggling nonprofit. Yes, people who run nonprofits need to be passionate servants who want to help better our community. We want them to be concerned about the little guys – the unjust and the poor. But that alone will lead to headaches, heartaches and financial woes. Or, maybe it’s the financial stuff that lead to the other headaches.
Nonprofit founders who start a charity because they want to leave a legacy are more likely to create the financially sustainable organizations needed to truly care for the less fortunate in our world. A person who is legacy driven understands that money is an essential requirement for something to survive today and to last beyond their existence. This applies to a start-up nonprofit or an individual philanthropist. Legacy driven people make revenue the impetus in making decisions and developing action plans for their charities or their giving plan. It sounds harsh but we all know that it takes money to do just about anything worthwhile. However, knowing and acting upon this knowledge is the difference between the have charities and have not charities.
Here is what I believe is the right formula for a nonprofit to start out on a success path: Legacy Driven Person + a Compassionate Need to Serve Person = a Profitable Charity that will Impact Our Community for Generations to Come. The key is that the legacy person and the compassionate person equals the same person.
Where did we get the notion that nonprofits should be poor, struggling and needy? How can the needy really serve the needy? Perhaps, it’s embedded in the “non” part of nonprofit. Sadly, I meet more and more nonprofit leaders who are missing the first part of the formula. And, I’ve been worried about the future of this industry as a result of what I’m experiencing.
Just recently I got a breath of fresh air and hope when I discovered Josh Brooks, Ph.D. He is the founder and president of the Enduring Charity Foundation – a 501c3 organization with a unique purpose and position. Not only does he and his leadership team understand what it takes to build a nonprofit that can weather the tests of time but he has developed a mission that will help other legacy driven individuals and nonprofits do the same.
The Enduring Charity Foundation consists of a portfolio of small endowments established by philanthropic individuals and organizations. As opposed to a single, one-time donation, the establishment of an endowment through the Enduring Charity Foundation allows a philanthropic individual, group, or nonprofit to provide an enduring source of support for those charities that they wish to support. It’s called building a legacy, people! This nonprofit has done more in its first 12 months to establish the groundwork for success than many nonprofits have accomplished in 12 years. They don’t make statements like: “We don’t have money to do this or that.” They create a plan to get the money to do this or that. Learn more about their accomplishments and be ready to try a few new legacy driven things at www.enduringcharity.org.
Rooted is his desire to be a serving leader, Josh believes: “enduring problems require enduring solutions.” I am re-motivated to help more start-up nonprofits and I have a new example to showcase on my journey.