Entries by richardfseymour

It’s Update Week!

This blog is about starting nonprofit organizations. I try to post useful information most every week that startup nonprofiteers will find useful, and there are dozens of people reading my blog, (literally dozens! maybe even scores!), and sometimes I get actual feedback from a few of you. Please keep it up. Because of this feedback, […]

The Nonprofiteer’s Code

When you’re starting a nonprofit organization, you gotta have a code. Medical doctors know they must “first, do no harm”, Superman stands for “truth, justice, and the American way”, Spider-man understands that “with great power comes great responsibility”, and even the criminal Omar from The Wire only robs from other criminals, and never from “civilians”. […]

Introducing the Nonprofit Startup Flowchart

Starting a nonprofit organization properly has many steps, and there are several variations on how to do this right. This complexity scares many people away from trying, and more problematically, encourages many to simplify the process and skip steps. I find it helpful to look at the whole process from a 10,000 foot perspective in […]

Nonprofit Lessons in the Wizard of Oz

You know the story. Dorothy is whisked away from her grey and dusty home in Kansas to a colorful land where she goes on a quest accompanied by three magical companions. Along the way she has many challenges and adventures, but successfully completes the quest and returns to her home. Oddly, this tale provides some […]

How to Hire Your First Staff Person

When you start a nonprofit organization it might be that you need no staff because it runs solely on volunteer labor. In these types of organizations, the board of directors usually takes a very hands on approach, and the work is accomplished before or after your day jobs. These organizations can be very effective at […]

What the Heck is a Theory of Change?

Most organizations I have worked with never bothered to develop a formal theory of change for their work, but every group has had one — even if it’s unstated and informal. When you start a nonprofit organization, it’s worth your time to spell this out explicitly. Doing so is not that difficult, and it helps […]

Who to Pick as Your Co-Founders

Nobody starts a nonprofit solo. By definition an organization is a group of people, and the reason you want to work in a group is that you’re trying to do something that a single person can’t pull off on their own. So you need an initial team of people to start your nonprofit organization, but […]

Nonprofit Startups: Two Sides to Every Coin

When you start a nonprofit organization things can seem quite simple at times. You have an idea and gather a group of like-minded people to work on that idea. Everyone pitches in and helps in some way, whether it’s working on small day-to-day tasks or making strategic decisions about the direction of your organization. Usually […]