Starting a community service organization is not only good work but also fun. You might have done some volunteer activities in your high school or at a young age. But have you ever thought of starting a community service organization? It is not such difficult to start a community service organization. For that, you need to follow some simple steps.
In this article, I will explain all the essential steps in detail. You will also read about various community service ideas. Read this article to know more about how to start a community service organization.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is Community Service
- How to Start a Community Service Organization
- Cost of Starting a Community Service Organization
What is Community Service
Community services are volunteer work that people do to help others in a particular area. It can be done individually or in a team. Community service is a very common phenomenon in today’s life. Especially after the deadly Covid Virus hit, people have become more aware of others’ needs. They wholeheartedly move forward to help others in their area or a specific place.
Community services can be done anytime, anywhere, by anyone. However, it takes some plans to do these tasks properly and successfully. Following are some community service ideas,
Some Community Service Ideas
There are many ideas that you can start working on for your community. Following are some ideas you can try to work on when it comes to community services,
- Work with animals
- Collecting food
- Blood drive
- Work in hospitals
- Work with needy kids
- Community Garden
- Recycling Work
What is Community Service Organization
A community service organization is a non-profit entity that works for others in a specific area or place. Usually, these organizations do not charge any money for their work. These organizations offer services to residents with the same interest and needs. Any single person or a group of people can start a community service organization.
How to Start a Community Service Organization
Community service organizations don’t need many things to start. You can start it with a bunch of people near you or can start individually. You can follow a few steps to form your community service organization. Here are the steps,
Step 1: Identify The Issue in Your Community
The first step is to identify the problem in your community. Community service can be of many types. For example, if your community has more elder people, then you can provide elderly services like helping them with their regular work, visiting them to check if they need anything, help them to connect with their loved ones.
Step 2: What You Can Do It Help The Community
In the second step, you must check what can be done to serve people in your community. As soon as you identify the issue your organization will work on, it would be best if you list down what are the things to be done. You must make a list of things you can do. For example, if you are taking strays to the vet for vaccination. Now, it is time for you to see if you have the proper skill and knowledge to handle such work.
There are some more points to check when before you start offering your services. They are,
- How many people do you need
- What skill is required
- Do your hired people have that skill
- How many hours are you going to give to this work
- How much money do you need for this service
- How much money can you raise
These are some basic questions you need to find answers to.
Step 3: Make A Plan
It is very important to make a solid plan before you start working on the service. It is similar to any business plan you make before starting your business. In this plan, you must include a few things related to the service. For example, the service you’re going to provide, the money you need, the type of organization you’re heading, raising funds, volunteers you need for this task, the outcomes, resources you have, people who will be benefited from it, and other important points must be included in your plan.
Step 4: Register Your Organization
A formal organization must be registered under the Secretary of State. Registering an organization can bring you enough funding, subsidies, benefits, and many financial and other advantages. You can register your organization as any business structure, such as a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company.
If you want to start an LLC, it will bring an additional tax benefit. Community service organizations receive tax benefits in general as they are non-profit entities. However, registering it as an LLC might bring more advantages to the organization and its members. LLCs protect their members’ personal assets. Hence, it is always beneficial for any organization to register as an LLC. For more information related to LLC, you can explore StartMyLLC.
Step 5: Get Volunteers to Work
It is obvious that your community service needs people to lend their hands. The next step after registering your organization is to hire people. Community Service Organizations, in most cases, do not hire employees. Instead, you get volunteers who have the same interest in serving people. Try to get volunteers from the locality so that they can understand local people and places well.
Step 6: Set a Budget
Setting a budget is the next thing you must do. As soon as you take up the task, you must calculate the budget. The budget includes all the spending, charges for business registration, transportation costs, tax amounts (if applicable), materials, and other miscellaneous costs.
Based on the state and the type of business structure, the budget can be reduced or increased. For example, if you get an LLC in Texas or an LLC in California for your non-profit, it might cost more than an LLC in Florida. According to your budget, the fundraising programs should be arranged. If your budget is high for the service, then the fundraising program should be vast. On the contrary, low or medium-budget tasks require moderate fundraising programs.
Step 7: Arrange Funds
The next step is to raise funds as per your budget. Community services are fun yet difficult when it comes to planning things. Raising funds is one of those important and difficult tasks. There are a few ways to raise the fund.
- You can collect funds from friends and families or any known people
- Start a contest, raffles, or something similar to raise funds
- Crowdfunding websites
- Street collection
- Direct donations
- Through newsletters in holistic places like churches, temples, and masjids
These are the easy ways to raise funds for your service. Crowdfunding is the most common way to raise money these days. But there can be fraudulent activity as well. So, be careful before you start crowdfunding.
Step 8: Get Started
The final step is to get started with your task. You have the team, funds, and everything you need to start. Before you start with everything, make sure you have legalized all the paperwork. It is good to start a formal organization with all legal paperwork to avoid any discrepancies in the future.
Cost of Starting a Community Service Organization
It is tough to say how much money you need to start a community service organization. The minimum amount you can invest initially starts from $500. However, there are so many things you need to carry on with the organization. The following costs are involved here,
- Cost of incorporation: Depending on the state, you must pay the fee for non-profit registration. It can start from $0 to $250.
- Cost of Tax-exempt status: The cost of the tax-exempt status of a non-profit depends on the size of your asset/organization. There can be different forms to submit that can be charged $600 or more.
- Other costs: Other costs like insurance, marketing, promotion, recruiting volunteers, renting office space, and some other miscellaneous costs.
How to Raise Funds for the Community Service Organization
You can cover all the costs by raising enough funds. As I mentioned above, you can raise funds through various media. For example, crowdfunding. There are several websites where you can register as a crowd fundraiser and get your funds. Apart from crowdfunding, you can use the direct donation option or donation through events. Marketing events like raffles, contests, and other fun events to raise enough funds.
You can get in touch with several investors who specifically invest in non-profits. Also, you can reach local people and get donations for your service.
Profit Earned From the Community Service Organization
Community Service Organizations are non-profit. You don’t get to see any profit from this type of organization. Community service organizations are meant to help others in your community or a specific area. In most cases, the fund they raise gets back to the tasks or the organizations. If we consider “profit” in the economical term, then such organizations make “normal profit” in most cases. By definition, normal profit means no gain or loss, viz, a break-even situation. Community service organizations aim to meet their goals and keep the budget balanced. That is the
If you want to start any community service, you can do that on your own. Research, identify the issues in your community, get volunteers, set a budget, raise the required fund, and finally, get started with community service.
There are a few things you might need before you start working on your community service organization. You need detailed research on the community problem you will work on. Also, you need a good plan to start the organization.
Generally, there is no supernormal profit that comes from the community service organization. The money/fund raised in such an organization covers the budget in most cases. But, if there is an additional fund, that always goes back to the organization for future projects. It is possible to have normal profit in a community service organization where no loss occurs and covers the entire cost.
In a community service organization, employees are low-paid, or sometimes, there is no payment. In that case, instead of employees, you get volunteers who want to work with a non-profit organization not for money but for their interest in helping other people in the community.
This article has basic information about community service organizations. However, the concept is much bigger than what is said or written on the internet. Community Services are one of the most popular and noble works people do for their community. If you have any feedback on the same, share it with us in the comment section below.