Community organizations play a key role in bringing about societal change. They help enhance community decision-making, spur economic growth, and bring social change to disadvantaged groups. According to statistics, 80% of global citizens admit that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are key in producing positive social change.
Bringing about change can be highly rewarding. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Dealing with different people, handling finances, and ensuring the organization is compliant with all legal requirements can be overwhelming. Here are four tips you can use to start and run a successful community organization.
There are many types of community organizations: community interest companies, development trusts, credit unions, social firms, and more. All these are governed by different laws and also comply with different tax obligations. Here are some legal obligations to keep in mind.
- You must have a governing constitution or an instructions manual that outlines the organization’s rules.
- Ensure the organization is properly insured against all risks, such as property damage and worker injury.
- Workers’ income tax deductions and any other National Insurance contributions must be made on time.
- Asset protection for the organization’s owner. You shouldn’t be fully liable for the organization’s debts.
You’ll need a dedicated team to handle different tasks within the organization. Find people who share your vision and create a collaborative work environment. The best people to bring on board are community members who may already be aware of the issues you want to address.
Meet with them and discuss all the details, including the organization’s vision and objectives. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses and assign them roles that suit them. Communicate and allow every member to voice their opinions and suggestions freely. You may also want to involve stakeholders.
Funding is important for running a successful community organization. Determine the initial costs and explore different financing opportunities. The amount you’ll need to start operations will depend on the type of organization you wish to start. Many community organizations get their funding from member subscriptions, fundraising events, and money raised from selling products and services.
You’ll need to pay for registration and other legal fees. I Need Cash Now, a company that offers title loans online and supports a few community initiatives, advises new community organizations to solicit member contributions instead of bringing stakeholders on board who may not share their vision.
Whether you’re looking for more people to help you accomplish your mission or just trying to attract donors, marketing is key. But first, you must create a great organizational structure and know your goals and objectives. Here are some useful tips on how to market your organization.
- Hold a public meeting in a place accessible by everyone and talk about your mission
- Create social media pages for the organization and post frequently about your activities, events, and any updates
- Create a great website detailing all your activities and add contacts.
- Make it possible for people to sign up for membership online
- Create lots of marketing materials such as posters and banners about your new organization.