Nonprofit Accounting Basics

Before you Start

Author: 

Betsy Johnson

Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Nonprofit organizations are wonderful vehicles to help communities in creative ways. But there are also long-term responsibilities and obligations to the communities served and to the governments involved.

This section is designed to help you think about whether or not you really want to start an organization. If you decide to start one, we will give you some guidance and resources to get you off to the right start.

Before you start, answer the following questions:

  • What needs will the organization fulfill?
  • Are you duplicating services already being provided by someone else?
  • If so, can you still justify going forward?
  • Who are your potential consumers/constituents and how will you reach them?
  • Where will you get the financial resources to start and sustain your organization?
  • Who will provide the proposed services?
  • Do you understand your role as the founder?
  • Do you understand how to form a board and use it as your main support?