Mark Calima is an experienced band director who has nearly fifteen years of experience in music education. He is also the Founder and Director of the Houston Area Summer Wind Ensemble, which is a non-profit organization that serves as a summer camp for Houston area high school musicians. Here are some tips for starting a non-profit.
When you start a non-profit organization, you need to find a focus. Figure out something that you’re interested in that will gain traction within your community, and something that you know others are interested in as well. Calima started a wind ensemble summer camp due to his experience as a music educator, and because of his notoriety within the Houston, Texas area amongst high school musicians.
You also need to gain local support in order to be successful. It’s impossible to start a non-profit organization on your own, and you need the local community members on your side. If you want outside agencies to lend their support, they will need to see that the community as a whole will benefit from your organization. Develop a strategy, much like any other company or business, that will attract beneficiaries.
Treat your organization as a business. Don’t make the mistake of believing your non-profit organization isn’t a business simply because it’s labeled as non-profit. You need to have a plan, employees, and you need to be efficient when it comes to the services you provide; non-profits still provide services that cost a good deal of money.
Mark Calima worked hard in order to start and fund his non-profit organization for high school students.