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Lunch and Learn: Starting a Nonprofit or Charitable Project

  1. Starting a Nonprofit or Charitable Project An overview of pathways for social good through a sharing economy Amanda LaFleur, Executive Director
  2. Start a nonprofit Don’t start
  3. 37,627 nonprofits in Massachusetts Official data undercounts independent nonprofits and informal charitable projects not required to register with the IRS, so the true size of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector is probably much larger. Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, 2020
  4. Alternatives Show the audience you anticipated their questions. Leave room for Q&A, but use the Appendix as a way to show that you both thought about those questions and have solid answers with supporting information. Let the audience test their understanding of the problem and the solution you’ve outlined - questions give them a chance to talk themselves into your approach, and give you a chance to show mastery of the subject. ➔ Volunteer ➔ Donate ➔ Fundraise ➔ Collaborate ➔ Apply
  5. Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought content
  6. We need diversity in the nonprofit sector ➔ Ideas ➔ Experiences ➔ Perspectives ➔ Solutions ➔ Participation
  7. Traditional Path Step 1 Ideas, participants, plans, goals, gather info Step 2 Board of directors, bylaws, state registration, Apply for 501(c) Step 3 Fundraising, infrastructure, compliance, finances, grants, delivery of services Recommended Resource:
  8. Options There are many options for nonprofits to establish themselves as agents of social change, each with varying levels of commitment and legal requirements. Volunteer / Donate Become a 501(c)(3) Fiscal Sponsorship
  9. What is fiscal sponsorship? “The shared economy” A fiscal sponsor, is a nonprofit backbone organization that provides shared corporate structure, finance, HR, legal, insurance, risk management and other resources among multiple semi-autonomous missions. Source: Social Impact Commons
  10. Fiscal Sponsorship is ideal for ➔ Individuals and groups forming new nonprofit organizations ➔ Time-specific charitable projects and programs ➔ For-profit businesses engaging in charitable work ➔ Programs responding to an urgent need ➔ Pending or soon-to-be 501c3 organizations ➔ Spin-off programs from other nonprofit organizations Source: Social Impact Commons Learn more at
  11. No matter the path ➔ Theory of change ➔ Leadership ➔ Governance ➔ Sustainability ➔ Compliance
  12. Financial Sustainability Source:
  13. Resources ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔
  14. nonprofit incubator Amanda LaFleur, Executive Director 617.702.2929 Advancing social change many projects at a time