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    Getting Started

    Starting a free community center for moms and babies--HELP!

    I am in over my head. I am doing this project alone (well, my two adult sons are working very hard for me on the building) and a lot of people are getting excited about it, but so far I've had a few donations of carpet tiles for the building and kids toys and a baby swing. I'm going to need to pay electric bill, I'm buying furniture on my own dime, paint and wall decals, posters, educational materials - I sold a very large painting that is funding this project but I am running out of money fast and my husband is not working and I am not getting paid for postpartum doula work because I am still a student. I sent in information for a few grants, and somehow word got to someone and I was invited to my Town's Chamber of Commerce nonprofit luncheon later this month. But how do you take on a project like this? I really want to do it because I think it's really needed and people will love it but I'm scared of doing all this by myself. What should I do?

    You will have numerous issues to deal with... including possibly zoning.  You need insurance... and the list goes on.  Your SCORE executive should be able to help you sort all of this out.   Yes it is complicated.   Laws differ on this from state to state.  

    9 REPLIES 9
    Getting Started

    Congratulations to you on your successes so far.   I admire your interest and dedication.


    I think that you should contact SCORE (Senior Core of Retired Executives) in your community.  Meet with one or more of these retired executives and work with them to develop a business plan.  This service is completely free.  Then go from there.   You might also check with the Small Business Administration in your area as well as the Executive Director of your Chamber of Commerce. 

    Perhaps, next you could meet with some religious leaders to see if they could ether promote or financially support your initiative as well.  

    Best wishes!!! Check back with me if I can be of further support.  Ron

    Thank you. Those all sound like good things to try...
    Getting Started

    Congratulations, kudos to you and yours for starting a much needed facility in every community. Are you a 501C3 nonprofit organization? Registered with the state's corporation. Start a Fundraiser, garage sale. Farmers market something to get the community involved to help fund your project. I started Reclaiming You Inc last Dec and received my 501C3 in Feb. I've been funding what I can, we get a lot of donations for the homeless and domestic violence people starting over. If your new it's hard to even get grants. Best of luck to you. What's the name of the center or nonprofit organization?
    Melissa Malzahn

    From the Heart Postpartum Doula Services and Community Center. But no money would change hands here, I do my business out of a neighboring town where I have a business license. Do you have to get a business license for a community center? And I looked up getting nonprofit status and it looked ridiculously complicated - how bad is it really? As soon as I saw you had to have a board, and a board meeting, before you can get nonprofit status and it just went downhill from there I was like forget it. What benefits do you get from it for all the pain to go through it?

    You will have numerous issues to deal with... including possibly zoning.  You need insurance... and the list goes on.  Your SCORE executive should be able to help you sort all of this out.   Yes it is complicated.   Laws differ on this from state to state.  

    I have Doula insurance and the girl who's loaning me the property has property insurance, I didn't think we'd have to worry about anything but that and neither did she. And it's a storefront so we just assume the zoning wasn't an issue. I guess I better get these questions answered, I'm putting a lot into this and I'd hate for it to bomb because I didn't know something about it was not possible. Thanks.

    Exactly... You need to have an expert read (for example) your insurance policies and see if everyone is covered.  If you handle funds from donations, etc. you may have certain audit requirements.  You have certain filing requirements with the secretary of state.  You may have some department of health requirements and the list goes on. That is why you need to spend sometime with an expert...  SCORE should be a great starting point. 

    Zoning is through the city or county, licenses also, get a lawyer to help or accountant, site plans to take to city, did lady in kind donate the land, building ?
    Getting Started

    You need a president, treasurer, and a secretary for your board to start corporations, nonprofit. I had rocket lawyer do my Corp papers and file in my state. I filed my own 1023 to the irs for my 501C3. Google search bow to start nonprofit in your state. I have no members,