How to Make Your Nonprofit Vision Happen

By Alan Olsen

Many high-net-worth individuals come to the realization that they want to do something good and noble with their money. They understand that they are fortunate to be in their particular circumstances and they want to give something back. There are many ways to do this, from donating money to good causes to participating on boards, committees or organizations aimed at making a difference in the world. Another way to give back is to start a nonprofit organization. Non-profit organizations can be a great tool to help a lot of people and they also provide high-net-worth people an opportunity to share their wealth for a good cause.

Helping Those With Cancer

Starting a nonprofit organization is not necessarily an easy task, however. It takes more than just money. There are several important factors to consider and you need a lot of help. I spoke with Sherry Higgs, the Founder of Drivers for Survivors, a non-profit organization that offers free transportation, as well as supportive companionship for ambulatory cancer patients, in the Fremont, Newark and Union City areas of California. Drivers for Survivors provides this service for all medical-related doctor appointments for anyone undergoing cancer diagnosis and treatment that lives within a 60 mile radius from DFS Fremont headquarters. This service allows these patients to focus on their health and treatment.

Passion and Networking

Her organization hits close to home for Sherry because she is a cancer survivor, herself. After overcoming breast cancer she wanted to give back to society by helping others who were going through cancer treatment. So she decided to start a non-profit. I asked her how a person goes from the idea of having a nonprofit to actually starting it up and getting it going? She explained to me what she had to do to get her nonprofit off the ground. “You definitely have to have a passion for your cause because that’s energizing and you need to have a lot of energy. Having that propels you.” Sherry also said that networking is very important because you will need a lot of help from a lot of good people to get your non-profit up and running. Therefore, “networking is hugely important.” She told me: “I was willing to talk to anybody and everybody and gather information.”

Do Your Homework

Sherry also pointed out the importance of doing your research and your homework, so-to-speak. There are many unique things to consider in terms of non-profits, so you have to make sure you educate yourself sufficiently. For example, Sherry mentioned the importance of finding out what the legal ramifications are for the different variables you have to have, such as insurance and workers compensation insurance. You should also have a good attorney. “I was really blessed right out of the gate to get some really good people involved, which was very helpful to me.” She said that the implementation wasn’t easy and it took some time, but that she was fortunate that the turnaround time was quicker than expected. “I really feel lucky because I got to basically hit the ground running.”