I get this question all of the time. Should I start something new or join something that is already started? This is [not] my answer:
You must start a new non-profit.
And here’s four reasons why:
Photo Credit: GS+
1. Even though there is another non-profit that is practically identical to your idea, you don’t like their logo/their location/their board/the 7th point of their statement of beliefs
The “market” can handle an infinite number of non-profits. So feel free to start one on a whim. Because it’s cheap to file, and hey, everyone loves getting tax deductions. And that whole “synergy” is overrated.
2. Because you like starting from scratch with zero.
3. Because you are smarter than just about everyone else out there.
The thing about working for someone else, or serving their non-profit, is that they are going to try and tell you what to do. And who needs that? You’re smart, right? And none of us need to learn from others that have already done the hard work and have the experience. And anyway, you already have a lot of knowledge on non-profits….
4. Because you bought Non-Profits for Dummies at Barnes & Noble.
Everything you need to know about running a non-profit, from tax rules to creating a board, to marketing and fundraising, are already covered in excellent books. And you’ve read them cover to cover, and that’s enough.