Lesson 10: Ten Things We'd Like to Tell Every New Philanthropist

Statement #10 - I have a great idea for a new program - I'll start my own nonprofit.

It's the last time we'll say it - just don't! Or certainly make it your last option. There has been a proliferation of non-profits over the last 10-20 years, some of them quite valid and needed. This also means there are more and more small organizations struggling to get enough resources to reach some level of sustainability and organizational capacity.

In short, it is much easier to start a non-profit than a for-profit company, but it is much harder to effectively sustain a non-profit over the long-term. When you have a new idea, please be sure to look around to see if anyone is already doing the work you care about; or if there is someone to partner with or someone that might want to take on a new "line of business."

By Paul Shoemaker

Find more from Paul Shoemaker and SVP/Seattle here.

Guest Contributor

Posted at 1:00 AM, Jan 07, 2009 in Philanthropic Strategy | Permalink | Comments (1)


Hi Paul,

I agree with you on the advisability of starting a new non-profit. I am looking for a non-profit to partner with. I have a personal mission to help type 2 diabetics. I do so with a website www.Diabetic-Diet-Secrets.com.

The first suggestion I usually hear is to partner with or work with in the existing diabetic associations. There are two problems with that suggestion.

1. I have no medical degree. What I have to share is what I had to learn to control my own problem when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

2. The organizations that should be the best sources of information for diabetics unfortunately are more interested in pandering to pharmaceutical companies and food special interest such as the sugar companies and food manufacturers than they are in providing the best and most recent information about using diet to control type 2 diabetes.

Most of what I have to say to help other diabetics is on my website or in the book I wrote on the subject.

I am too small to consider becoming a non-profit. It is just me. I am on a 100% VA disability. Most of my monthly cost are covered by a couple of sponsors and affiliate ads on the site. What I need a partnership with a non-profit to accomplish is to be able to make more people aware of the site with google ad credits and PSAs on radio and TV stations which are only available to non-profits. I would also like to be able to give the book free of charge where ever it is needed. To do that I would need an angel to cover the printing cost. My goal with the book is to make it available to companies, agencies or non-profits as a free giveaway.

Any ideas on who to contact? Most of the emails I send come back as rejection or do not get answered at all.

Posted by: Toma Grubb

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