How to turn your idea into a successful nonprofit

College and graduate school applicants can build up business experience, leadership experience, and make a difference by starting their own non-profit. 

Take my student, Aiden. Aiden launched a non-profit dedicated to helping teens develop a sense of civic and social responsibility. Her first step to launch was publishing articles and hosting an online forum where students could discuss issues related to social responsibility.

In conjunction with these efforts, she used social media and in-person events to raise awareness about the importance of teen involvement in social causes. She built her platform first by sharing her articles with some friends. Because her friends liked the content, they shared them broadly, and eventually, Aiden built a list of thousands of subscribers.

Aiden parlayed her list that into online webinars and training events. There were fits and starts along the way--challenges of building her team, retaining partnerships, and maintaining momentum. But Aiden built something great and learned a lot from the experience. 

So what happened to Aiden? She got incredible life experience, full scholarship offers, and an invitation to join the Class of 2021 at Barnard College. This acceptance was made possible by Aiden’s willingness to stretch her limits and make herself vulnerable to expose world problems and her ability to build teams in finding solutions.
What’s a cause that you care about? Are you driven by social issues larger than yourself, or are you more into micro-level issues? If you’re more into the micro, I’ll share a story with you next week about one of my students who started his own business, made thousands of dollars, and who got admitted to some great places. Stay tuned.

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