Do you have a teenage child, nephew, niece, student or any teenager you are fond of who likes to help others and wishes to start a foundation? Are you a teenager wishing to start your own charitable foundation? If YES, then you have come to the right place; this article would show you how you can start a non-profit organization or your own charity foundation.

I recently read a story about how a Toronto teenager, Ms. Perera started a charity foundation to help teenagers who have been victims of sexual abuse in under-developed countries. I was thrilled and impressed that a 16-year could think about helping others in a world where fancy clothes, video gaming, texting and dating is what occupies the mind of our teenagers.

Then, I figured out that there are likely to be several teenagers like Ms. Perera who want to do what is right and help others but just don’t know how to go about it. Well, starting a charity foundation is fairly easy, it starts getting tricky when you need to raise funds but with the right knowledge, you would find things easier. You should do the following-:

Starting a Foundation for Charity as a Teenager – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Choose a cause to support-: The first step to take is to choose the cause that you wish to support. You can support any cause from helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, helping sexually abused kids, helping people suffering from anorexia and eating disorders, clothing people and helping kids in developing countries who cannot afford to go to school. There are thousands of causes that you can support to help to make people’s lives better.

2. Decide on how you want to support-: As a teenager, you are probably still schooling and there’s a limit to the extent to which you can go. Therefore, you have to decide on how you want to support your charity organization.

For instance, you can go about collecting used or unwanted clothing around your neighborhood which you would give to people without clothes, you can organize feeding programs with your friends to help people who cannot afford to feed themselves, you can gather some of your old school books, bags and other educational materials that you and your friends no longer need and give them out to children who cannot afford to go to school. You can also offer monetary and moral support or just help to increase awareness of diseases.

3. Read books to expand your knowledge-: To be able to learn more about how to run your charity foundation, you should consider reading books and materials that would give you a deeper insight on how to run and manage your charity foundation. You can get a lot of useful books and materials on online book stores like Amazon for less than $10.

4. Create a group of like-minded people-: Next, you should start making your intentions known to your parents, friends, family, teachers, colleagues at school and other people that you know. You would need people to support you and you can only get support if you spread the word out.

5. Volunteer for other charity organizations-: If you think that starting your own charity organization would be too much stress, you can choose to volunteer for other charity organizations instead.

6. Write your Vision and Mission Statement-: Don’t worry, this is not complex. Your vision and statement would spell out your goals and purpose and your targets for starting your foundation. You don’t need to go too technical with this, just write it in simple language and let it reflect your true intentions and goals.

If you are still unsure about how to write your vision and mission statement, the internet has some useful articles that you can read to guide you on how to write your vision and mission statement. Here is a sample non-profit organization business plan template you can use for FREE.

7. Elect Trustees-: You should appoint trustees for your foundation too. The trustees would be in charge of handling and directing the affairs of the charity. You should consider having some adults that you trust on your board of trustees so that they can handle some of the legal responsibilities that are you restricted from doing as a teenager.

8. Appoint a treasurer-: Next, you should appoint a treasurer who would take charge of managing the financial responsibilities such as keeping records of expenses, saving money and keeping all financial records.

9. Register your charity organization as a 501 (C) -: This is one of the reasons why you need an adult on your board of trustees; they would be able to help you register your charity organization as a not-for-profit organization exempted from paying taxes.

10. Create your website: Make use of the cheap templates on the internet to create a website for your charity organization. You would be able to reach and help more people when you have a website. Sponsors can also learn more about your foundation and the cause you are supporting through your website.

11. Raise funds for your business-: This is why we provided a sample non-profit marketing plan template to help you out. There are several ways that you can raise funds for your charity organization;

  • Apply for grants from corporate organizations, NGO’s and other organizations that support charitable causes.
  • You can organize fund raising events like fashion shows, beauty pageants, and garage sales to raise money.
  • You can place collection boxes in strategic places so that people can donate to your charity.
  • You can write letters to corporate organizations for sponsorship.
  • You can also ask for help from your parents and friends or raise money through volunteer work.

When you have put all of these in place, you can kickstart your charity organization. You can start searching for genuine people who need help and make donations to them. But remember that you have to always be accountable and transparent.

You want to have your charity for a very long time and you want it to grow bigger and better therefore, you have to be hardworking and upright and always look to your mission and vision statement as a guide to keep you on track always.

Ajaero Tony Martins