So you’ve got your own charity. You’ve garnered enough funds to operate for a year or so, have developed your values, purpose, and mission, and have an Advisory Board. What next? You may have all the basics laid out, but there’s still a lot of work to be done if you want to continue to survive and grow.
As soon as you have your board together, use them as a resource to find more donors. A great place to start is by looking for possible grants and applying for them. There is a surprising amount of funding available for philanthropic causes—you just need to find and utilize it.
A great way to become more visible is to consider partnering with another organization or even with the government if your charity addresses a significant social dilemma. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that charities are all self-sustaining—many of the most successful charities have significant partners that raise and donate large amounts of money for the cause.
You will also need to be as efficient with your money as possible. No more than 20% of what you bring in should go back to administration and operation of your charity. The rest should go toward furthering your mission.
Be patient. Growing your philanthropy can take time—and it’s a good thing, too; you’ll have to keep up with all that growth if you want to be sustainable. Steady growth is better than spontaneous combustion because it’s far easier to maintain and less likely to collapse suddenly. Steady and slow wins the race.