A non-profit organization is a business that is dedicated to creating awareness about a certain societal need or other concern. Non-profits exist for animal rights, women's rights, welfare in general, and other types of needs across the world.
You want to start a non-profit, but you don't know how to begin. Consult with a human rights or a business law firm such as Legal For Good PLLC to help you get started, and learn what you need to know about a non-profit startup here.
You have to fill a need
To make a non-profit business successful, your end goal with your company has to fill a need in your area. For example, is child hunger a problem in your city? Are you concerned about polluted water? What about the homeless animal population? Before you start any non-profit agenda in your area, make sure the goal you have in mind will be widely received.
You have to be legal
A non-profit organization must have proceeds that benefit what you say they will, not go entirely into your pocket. A non-profit organization is essentially a business that makes money by selling goods or services, with all the profits going to keep the business running and to benefit the charities the non-profit represents. If you plan on making a personal profit from your non-profit, your lawyer will explain to you how this type of business practice negates the non-profit's goals in the first place and may suggest a different type of business venture instead.
You have to be ethical
In addition to having legal intentions for monies received, your non-profit has to have an ethical agenda or purpose. For example, starting a non-profit to support illegal activities in your area is not an ethical means and will likely lead to your company being investigated by legal authorities or failure to launch successfully.
You can be ethical while still supporting less-than-popular ideals (such as rehabilitating sex offenders, for example) by ensuring your mission statement represents the community as a whole. Your lawyer will help you put your non-profit in a healthy light, no matter what you wish to represent.
It can take a long time to make a non-profit known in your community. You need to promote your non-profit business as well as its values, ethics, and goals to make the company succeed. Don't give up; with time your non-profit desires can become a successful reality if you stick with your agenda and market yourself well.