Checking Out the Competition
Updated: Mar 23, 2019
Before you start a business you should check out your competitors. This is even necessary for those that are starting nonprofits.
Are there other organizations that are similar to yours?
What service programs do they offer?
What demographics do they serve?
If you want to start a nonprofit, don't start one in a community with another nonprofit that is already established and successful. I would recommend that you partner with them and allow them to be a fiscal sponsor for your organization.
Fiscal sponsorship refers to the practice of non-profit organizations offering their legal and tax-exempt status to groups—typically projects—engaged in activities related to the sponsoring organization's mission.
If there is someone else in your community that has already implemented your idea, consider partnering with them. Even if you launch your own, I would still recommend you partner with them for greater impact and resources to the community in which you serve.
There was a young lady that contacted me about launching an Alzheimer's Walk. I suggested she check and see if there was already a similar program already operating in Dallas. She stated it wasn't. After, I conducted my research I discovered there is already an annual Alzheimer's Walk in Dallas. I informed her to please contact this organization and see if they would be interested in partnering based on her innovative idea. Guess what? They were and even wanted to scheduled a meeting with her.
You need the support of the community for your project. A nonprofit isn't meant to be done alone.
Assess the needs of your service programs that your nonprofit will offer...
-Telephone surveys or written questionnaires to the residents in the community or even local businesses
- Interviews with local foundations or civic officials
- Focus groups with people who are likely to benefit from the organization.