Why is a Keeping Place Foundation Needed?
Don’t just set up a Not for Profit because it’s the “right thing to do”. Do your research and make sure you are filling gaps in the sector otherwise you’ll be setting up an organisation that delivers competing services to a community or group. Basic Google searches, as well as looking on specialist websites such as Pro Bono Australia can give you an idea of what groups are operating in your chosen field.
Engaging and Partnering with the Indigenous Community
The best organisations empower and work collaboratively with the communities they assist. Make sure that key community stakeholders are involved in the management of your organisation before setting up programs in a community.
Strategic Plan for Keeping Place
Strategic plans help new not-for-profit organisations frame why they exist and what goals they are trying to reach. Creating a solid strategic plan will also help you track how effective the organisation is during its first years of operation.
If you’ve never done a strategic plan before, contact friends and family who work in business to guide you through it. Otherwise Pro Bono Australia has a service called Volunteer Match which matches skilled people with organisations in need.
Sustainability of the Foundation
Where will you be in ten years? It’s often an uncomfortable question for Not for Profit organisations, but it is something that you need to know before you found an organisation. It can be harmful for a Not for Profit organisation to deliver short term services or programs, especially if you’re working with vulnerable communities.
Competition from other Not for Profit Organisations
The Not for Profit sector is competitive enough as it is. You don’t want to be creating an organisation that competes with an established organisation.
Avoiding Founders Syndrome
Make sure that when creating an organisation that you avoid Founder’s Syndrome. Some typical behaviour from Founders Syndrome includes: boards made up of friends and colleagues of the founder; the identity of the organisation becoming the personality of the founder; and excluding newcomers who want to be involved in the organisation.
Protect the Foundation and Stakeholders Legally
If your organisation will deliver services to a community, you need to ensure your organisation is incorporated and has relevant insurance. You’ll also need deductible gift recipient (DGR) status before you can receive grants or other funding. A useful guide can also be found under www.pilch.org.au/beforeyoustart/
Establishing a Board for the Foundation
A talented and diverse group of people who are all committed to the cause is needed to help the founder achieve their goal. Many founders are so passionate about their cause that they take on everything for themselves. You can’t do everything and it’s often harmful to the cause to do so.
Creating Administrative and Finance Systems
Before you can start your Not for Profit organisation, you’ll need to establish administrative and finance systems. This can include budgetary plans, adopting an accounting system, adopting code of conducts for how you operate and a whole range of other policies and practices.
Planning for Failure
Establishing a Not for Profit organisation is an extremely challenging process and many organisations do not sustain themselves after their first few years of operation. Make sure you have an exit strategy for your organisation and the stakeholders that you work with.