The number of registered 501c3 nonprofits in America is growing exponentially. People starting new nonprofits are usually not familiar with what goes into creating a sustainable cause. Diversifying revenues, donor relationship building, recruiting and engaging a board of directors, managing a budget, maintaining message transparency, abiding by federal and state laws, employing and paying staff....these can overwhelm and distract a founder from the mission or the cause.
I usually recommend that people interested in a cause, first begin to volunteer, partner or network with others working on the problem that is most compelling to them. The founder must understand the competition and be able to describe the competitive advantage of the new organization. Creating a business plan with all of the typical components: marketing, operations, product, resource requirements, cashflow projections, etc. is important for future success.
Nonprofits can not be started with the expectation that resources will arrive magically via a Facebook page. The founder must have a plan for sustainability and a case for support. There are start up costs, equipment needs, physical space requirements, and basic administrative issues that no donor or foundation will want to support.
Nonprofits or social enterprises can help improve the world in a way that governments cannot and corporations will not. They are granted tax exempt status because the government expects these organizations to improve society and or test new ideas which may in the future be adopted by a government. The tax exempt status is a benefit that should not misused to personally advance the founder's wealth.
When a compelling case can be made for support, when a clear path is laid out to sustain a program, the founder will find the resources to get the nonprofit off the ground. Wise use of board members, volunteers and consultants can prevent founder burnout.