We receive many calls from people thinking about starting a nonprofit organization to help solve a particular problem or address a particular issue. The idea is that a nonprofit will allow people to raise money to fund a defined need. Sometimes, though, the very real problem or issue to be addressed isn’t one that can be funded with a charitable organization. For example:
- Something that will benefit a single individual, like a wheelchair ramp to provide easy access to the individual’s home, or
- Expenses that are someone’s personal or parental obligation, like fees for sports or other extracurricular activities.
When considering the need for a new nonprofit organization, keep in mind that the charitable purpose must be broad and the organization’s work must benefit a whole community, not just the members of the nonprofit or a specific individual.