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More people than ever before feel they are free to follow their passions and make life choices that truly make them happy. Instead of putting in endless hours at a job that doesn’t make them truly happy, some business people are choosing to start their own companies – or, in many cases, their own philanthropies. A philanthropic mindset is becoming more common, since it’s easier for people to connect with others and access the resources they need to build their own philanthropy. Just like starting a business, a lot of work goes into creating a new charity, but there are a few simple steps you can use to get started.

Choose your niche

When you choose what kind of philanthropy you’d like to start, you need to do so carefully. You can choose from broad categories, such as the environment, human rights, or fighting against a disease. Find a cause you feel passionately about and would want to devote a significant amount of time toward helping. Look for somewhere you can help out that doesn’t already have big-name charities doing as much as they can; if you can contribute to a lesser known cause, it’ll be more rewarding and easier to establish your philanthropy.

Make a plan

Before attempting to launch a charity, you’ll need to create a plan of how you’ll set it up and what your goals are for the future. Creating a detailed plan about running your philanthropy and what you want to accomplish will help you get a clear vision of what lies ahead. While making your plan, take time to research the concrete steps you need to set-up a philanthropy, such as any legal or financial paperwork to finalize.

Plan out your brand

It’s important that you properly brand your charity, especially if other organizations are working toward the same goal as you. In order to run a successful philanthropy, you need to stand out. Find a niche for your organization that you can stand out in and attract donations and volunteers to help in your efforts. Decide what your goals are and how you’ll market your business, such as your logo, color scheme, and other ways to spread the word about your mission.

Research financial requirements

Whenever you want to build something, whether it’s a business or a philanthropy, it takes a lot of hard work and costs you time and money. Learn what tax status you apply for, how you fill out taxes, and how to fund the philanthropy’s operations. Read books about starting philanthropies and find out what paperwork needs to be completed. Take time to raise funds; the better financial state you’re in at the beginning of the charity, the better you’ll feel in the long run.

Prepare yourself

Once you start a philanthropy, it’s going to take up a large portion of your time. Come to terms with the fact that you won’t have much free time once you undertake this new focus. It’s a long road, but if you approach it with the correct mindset, you’ll find it’s much smoother than jumping in without taking time to prepare for what lies ahead of you.