Congratulations on having the courage to take it a step further! It’s one thing to have an opinion or even a strong belief. It’s quite another to make the leap from conscientious observer to active participant. Creating an organization and attempting to effect change through the collective efforts of your team is as admirable as it is challenging. But if you’re not willing to stop at admirable – if success for you means actual change – you’re going to need help.
The biggest stumbling block in creating a successful organization is assembling a team that can actually do the job, especially when paying the team a proper salary is not an option. Early in their development, every organization needs a competent and cohesive steering committee. Think of the steering committee as the eventual “group within a group,” a collection – often made up of founding members – that will become the leadership body of your organization.
Getting it right in the early days means meeting two very important criteria. First, your team should share a common vision of what the organization will do and what it will become. The importance of this shared vision cannot be overstated. Dissent in the ranks of a fledgling organization is an obvious sign that failure is all but imminent. Encouragement among the steering committee and an enthusiastic environment is the only way to start strong.
Second, and equally important, is the need to cover all the essential skills needed to get the organization off the ground. What are these skills? In a nutshell, you will always need at least one persuasive writer, someone with a strong tech background who understands social media, a trustworthy money manager, and someone who either is or is very good friends with a lawyer.
The right mix of skill sets will get you through the setup process without any grave mistakes and help you launch some sort of public face to your organization. Once you’re all set up in a legal sense, you can rely on software to carry some of the burden. Raise The Money, simple software that lets you accept and track online donations, will make the next steps easier than they’ve ever been in the past. Getting to step two is just a matter of finding the right people and being very persistent.