Starting Up And Running a Small Nonprofit
Updated: Jun 6
If you're thinking of starting a nonprofit, first and foremost, realize it is like running a business. You'll need to devote time and resources to creating and running your nonprofit.
The thought of starting and running a nonprofit never crossed my mind, but God had other plans when he gave me a vision. I was sitting at a drop zone in Dallas when I noticed a young man gearing up to go skydiving using a prosthetic leg. I watched in awe as he boarded the plane, but it was while watching him land that I had uncontrollable thoughts rushing into my mind about how to use skydiving as a means to empower those living with cancer. By the time I left the drop zone, I had formulated lots of ideas and details about how the nonprofit would operate, including the name “2 Miles of Smiles”.
However, back in 2006 starting a nonprofit was a daunting task. We didn't have content on the web like we do today about starting and running a nonprofit. Heck, I didn't even know how to legally obtain the name. I found a local nonprofit management group in Dallas and starting reading their materials on how to start a nonprofit. I even attended a nonprofit start up class, but even after that class the thought of starting a nonprofit seemed like an unbearable task and it became apparent I didn’t have the time since I was working and raising a teenager as a single Mom. Therefore, it was put on the back burner as something to do during another season of my life.
Fast forward to 2019 when I was flipping through a catalog from a local community college and stumbled onto classes about How To Start A Nonprofit. Well, the season in my life to act on God’s vision was upon me. Even though I had always kept that vision on my mind, I really didn’t think it was something I could do. However, with God’s persistence in putting people and events in my life, I had to at least take the class and find out what I would be getting myself into.
After taking the 1st of 6 classes, I soon discovered that things had changed over the past 13 years, and creating a nonprofit didn’t seem as daunting as it once had. In today’s world with the internet and the ability to file all the paperwork online, it was much easier than I thought and I had a legal 501 (c) (3) in about 3 months. I had finally followed God’s vision for my life and created a small nonprofit with the mission of: Empowering cancer patients and survivors to find strength through skydiving, providing courage to live life fearlessly before, during, or after treatment.
In this blog, I am going to share stories of my experience in setting up and running a small nonprofit. These stories and experiences are for small nonprofits, and for people just like me that had a vision but didn’t know what that vision would lead to, or how they would grow as a person in the process.