Business Leaders Podcast - Bob Roark
The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit with Christian LeFer
00:00:00 00:38:30

The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit with Christian LeFer

BLP Lefer Christian Lefer | Starting A Nonprofit

 

Managing a nonprofit is a very noble move, but materializing it can be a daunting process even when you have billions of cash waiting to be used for a wonderful cause. In this episode, we learn from the knowledge bank of Christian LeFer who is the CEO and Founder of InstantNonprofit.com as he walks us through the steps of starting a nonprofit, including dealing with the IRS and lawyers. He also presents how he and his team can help anyone aiming to start a foundation or charity and presents them their 501(c)(3) package.

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The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit with Christian LeFer

We have Christian Lefer. He’s the founder and CEO of InstantNonprofit.com. Christian, welcome.

Good to see you again, Bob.

Christian has been a previous guest and we’re going to talk about InstantNonprofit.com. Christian, tell us about your business and who you serve.

I had volunteered to start a nonprofit with some friends around 2008, 2009. I completed the application, which I figured how hard can this be. I sent it in. A few weeks already, I received a letter with an agent’s name on it and a phone number. I couldn’t seem to get ahold of that person. When I did get ahold of somebody in the front desk, they told me it was going to probably be about twelve months and I could sit back and cool my heels a little bit because that’s how long they take to approve on a 501(c)(3). I thought, “How ridiculous.” I grew up with my little sister being developmentally disabled. I had experience with her running in Special Olympics. People don’t even realize how much they count on nonprofits as part of our fabric of society, whether it’s PTA or local little league or whatever. I was pissed and morally outraged. I decided to call about twenty extensions north and south of that agent’s phone number and whoever I could get ahold of, I would beg, plead and cajole them to give me the information about why this was such a nightmare.

What separated a good file? What gave them a good day at their desk versus a bad day? The IRS has made this process very Byzantine and very confusing. There’s no real source of information that says, “This is exactly what you need to do.” They’ve only layered more and more anti-fraud Band-Aids on top of their process over the years, so it’s only become more complex. I put together what I called a love letter to a bureaucrat based on grilling all of those agents. I edit the application and I got an approval in about 45 days. I tried this again with my little formula. A couple of other people in town heard that I can do this. I had a school with a billionaire donor. The school needed to get their approval in time to admit kids into the school and the billionaire donor would match all of that donations. I said, “I think I can get this done.” I had no idea, but I got it done and I went from blogger to businessman at that point.

You hear many stories where people get motivated for one reason or another and typically, it’s a significant frustration. That’s your significant frustration. What does your ideal client look like?

There are probably three different types of ideal clients. One is this successful entrepreneur or successful person or even corporate. Something where there’s already success, there’s already somewhat of a framework in things like generating revenue and building teams and those kinds of things. They’ll come to us and say, “We’ve got this idea. We know we want to do this, but we don’t want to wait forever for this paperwork or slog through a bunch of delays and back and forth.” The other would be what I would call hyper-local organizations that have a single founder. It’s a woman in the inner city who is a retired teacher and she got these kids on her back porch not getting shot up out in the neighborhood and running around with the wrong people. She’s needing to feed them and provide games and activities. The third is like a civic group type of thing. I have some masons who are building a park. They’re not business owners. They’re not the corporate funding source, but they know that they’ve got this network in the community. They’ve got these projects that they want to do and they’ve come together as a board or a group and wanting to do that. Those are the three primary types of founders that we run into.

For those various groups prior to InstantNonprofit, what’s the typical road or path that those groups had to travel down to try to form their nonprofits? What’s the typical timeframe for them to try to get that done? What did that look like?

Traditionally, there would probably be two paths. Hiring a lawyer or try and do it yourself. I had a quote of $3,200 on the low-end from customer. I’ve seen $5,000 and $10,000 to set up a 501(c)(3). There are different levels. There are two different paths for the application process itself. That does make some difference. There are about 26 different discrete steps in the process and any one of those can be a failure. You have to incorporate it and get the EIN. You have to provide the correct purpose and dissolution clause in your corporate paperwork or the state will be fined with it. Later you’ll have to go amend your articles when you get to the IRS and they say, “Sorry, there are nested problems that can occur inside this process.”

I’m the local attorney in Lick Skillet, Tennessee and you show up in my office and let’s say I have either done one or two or never done one, then I’ll go, “I’ll do it for you.”

If you don’t try doing it yourself and get sidetracked by some $50 loss leader for a document on online search, which doesn’t get you to 501(c)(3) and you go to an attorney, very few attorneys in the entire country do only nonprofit work. You’re probably going to get sandwiched in between a divorce and a real estate deal. You’ll pay several thousand dollars for someone who is doing what is not quite legal work. If you don’t know exactly what the IRS is looking for because you’ve done thousands of these and you’ve done them this month when they decided to change some guideline, it’s very likely that the lawyer is going to bill you for their time, slug through whatever, back and forth there is and deal with delays or deal with having to resubmit some paperwork, etc. You’re going to end up with that result of the typical average IRS time of twelve to fourteen months for an approval if you have any substantial budget.

BLP Lefer Christian Lefer | Starting A Nonprofit

Starting A Nonprofit: When starting a nonprofit, you have to provide the correct purpose and dissolution clause in your corporate paperwork.

 

I’m the prototypical 501(c)(3) person and I find you online and I reach out to you. Walk me through the steps. What does that look like?

If you were to be a customer, Bob, you’d go through three steps. In step one, you’d get a welcome email with a link. That link would go to a simple forum where we’ve translated all of these IRS government languages into English. You should be able to get through that form in about fifteen to twenty minutes. That’s where we get most of the information we need. We’ll feed that back to you in a document. That document also gets the proper power of attorney, etc. Once that’s signed, we front ended 90% of the process. We’re going to deliver nothing but good news to your email and documents to your shared secure folder on the cloud. In step two and step one also, we do the initial steps of incorporating and getting your EIN. Those things are what’s going to allow you to go to the bank and start operating in the community as a full-fledged nonprofit corporation. 501(c)(3) is a tax status that follows. As we move into step two, we provide you a corporate governance package. We iron out all the speed bumps that you’re going to run into as a founder that are separate from the 501(c)(3) and incorporation process. Bob, you’ve been around the block a little bit, but are you a professional? Do you run board meetings as a regular rule?

No, I don’t.

It would probably be helpful if you had a “How to run your board meeting in 30 minutes or less” video and matching downloadable board agenda.

Your board members would appreciate that too.

They sure would because board meetings are one of the primary reasons that people end up losing their passion for nonprofits. Whether they’re just your friend who are serving on board or if it’s you having to run that meeting and herd the cats. We help you not only with the exact nine-step process to go through that, but we helped set up some mindset too because it’s your job to run that board meeting efficiently and help manage the board members into an efficient process so that you can focus on your mission. Our number one mission as a company is to help you focus on your mission. As we move out of step two and into step three, we’ve now provided you with all the background things that you need to run the nonprofit and also all of the required documents and package ingredients that you’ll need for your 501(c)(3) applications such as your conflict of interest policy, bylaws, compensation policy, etc.

You got all of that and we have now populated your 501(c)(3) application. In step three, we simply submit. Most files get approved on what’s called merit clause at the IRS. That means just like when you submit a mortgage and everything is absolutely perfect and the money shows up, a merit clause is no interaction with that IRS agent. Even if they decide to pull you out of line for the TSA extra inspection, it’s the same thing here. They might pull one out of 25 or 30 files to run the traps and ask them additional questions. If they do, that’s not something you should have to survive on your own. We’re going to help format your answers because it’s like being a witness on the stand. You want to answer the question that was asked and no more. You don’t want to open up additional lines of questioning. We shut them down in one round that way.

I’m back to my prototypical form of 501(c)(3). I’ve gone through the process and we got a merit clause. I’ve got all of the things I want to do in the community or do some fundraising before you’re in for tax purposes and so on. How should I try to budget my time expectations? How long does it take?

Let me tell you what the ranges can be. The IRS is average for what we call an enterprise file, which is above $50,000 in likely receipts per year in the first three years. The IRS average has wavered over the past few years, from eight to ten months to twelve to fourteen months. They lost a lot of experienced agents during the government shut down, for example. That tends to slow things down. We can provide some value there because you’re looking at probably about three to six months average turnaround for our files. We like to build a little bit of a buffer end. I wouldn’t want to represent that you’d get this result. Our record is nine days for what we call an express file, from call to receiving the letter and about 45 days for a full-blown enterprise file, which is a big fat 60-page PDF printed out on dead trees and shipped to the IRS.

I think about the experience of doing it. I got my attorney. I’ve known Bill Smith forever and he’s taking care of my family a lot. I trust him, but Bill says, “I don’t do this all the time. I’ll see what I can do to help.” How many of these have you done? How many applications for 501(c)(3)s?

We’re probably close to 3,000 at this point.


Do not denigrate from your nonprofit’s mission by trying to struggle through all the paperwork.
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Do you think there’s anything you haven’t seen?

Probably not. I think we have a little bit of a screening process on the front end. There are occasionally people who come to us with an idea that isn’t going to be acceptable for a 501(c)(3) charity. For example, sometimes it’s a 501(c)(4) and they want to change something and lobby the federal government. We do that as well but that comprise a very small percentage of nonprofits. You might have a Chamber of Commerce type of nonprofit. That’s a 501(c)(6). We can do that, but a lot of times when people come to us, they don’t realize that they are falling outside of what is typically that public charity. Maybe they want to start a private foundation for example. We’re able to qualify them and steer them in the right direction. There are a small handful that are only suited to being a for-profit business. We’re honest and we tell you upfront. That way we can guide you into either the right package that we offer or make a recommendation of how you can get done exactly what you want to get done by some other means. Through that screening process, we’ve been able to maintain a 100% IRS approval rate. We’ve never lost one.

For many people out there that go, “What’s your time for it if you’re trying to accomplish a mission in the nonprofit space?” If you want to get to it quickly, it would be useful to use someone that has a bit of experience. Inaccurate advice is quite expensive when the day is all said and done. As you look back over this journey, starting back in ‘08, ‘09 and where are you are now. You’re obviously a veteran now, back then you were a rookie. What advice would you, the veteran, offer to you back then, the rookie, that would maybe help the reader understand?

Besides eating a ketogenic diet, I would recommend to my 25-year-old self to keep it simple. I have managed to complicate things for myself and my life by trying to be too clever, but sometimes you manage it. Making an idea that you have work on the most simple level now and then putting in the next fence post after this one is fully cemented in is probably some of the best. Brendon Burchard puts it that way. Make sure this fence post is 100% solid before you put up the next one because otherwise, the wind is going to come along and everything you built is going to go down. Go horizontal as they say.

Looking over the influences in your life for the nonprofit space, is there a book that comes to mind that was influential on your thought process?

I’m going to name two books by the same author. It shows an archive of his as well is maturing and that’s Tim Ferriss. I read The 4-Hour Workweek. Even if one doesn’t want to get to a four-hour workweek or it’s not feasible in your life for some reason, The 4-Hour Workweek talks about that very simplicity that I referred to. The central premise of the book and the idea of The 4-Hour Workweek is to build something that provides value to people at its simplest, most basic level and let that pay your bills. Let that be what he calls your muse, and then you have the free space and the clear mind and the time to think about what that big thing that you wanted. That doesn’t need to be a different business or a different life. It can be the same, but if you keep it simple at the beginning, your life will be uncomplicated or at least your work-life will be uncomplicated enough to allow you that free space to go, “This is where this can go.”

A case in point for you. You do the formation paperwork and get it done, but you also have the ability for that 501(c)(3) to train the board. You have number of other modules as well, which I would put in that category that you just mentioned. They’re not the primary thing that you do, but they are also additional needs within the industry.

The 25-year-old me would try to roll out eight products at once, probably not serving as fully as I could on any of them. We’ve adjusted our approach here. We’ve ruled some things out. We were successful and we’ve delivered value to people, but it wasn’t worth running around for the volume. We’re driving ourselves crazy trying to manage different things that aren’t scaled. What we’ve done is we’ve pulled back to our central core value proposition, which is starting the 501(c)(3) very much hands off. We’re very much doing it for the person as much as possible and then rolling out to things like the board training. We have an annual maintenance program at this point, so you can truly put your hands-free 501(c)(3). You can put this thing on autopilot from a compliance and maintenance standpoint, but we thought very hard about when to do that and how to do it versus trying to be all things to all people. I won’t mention any competitors by name, but there are some companies out there that purport to do 501(c)(3) and nonprofits, but their main line of business is for profits. This is such an afterthought to them. They have terrible reviews and we focus on getting good reviews by giving people what they need.

You’re serving the niche and I interrupted you in the middle of two books. You got one of them.

The other book is Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. You have a guy who now has earned the respect of everything from billionaires to the top keto doctors and scientists in the world, for example, and has been able to tap into the minds of the most brilliant people in medicine, science, wealth building, business building, etc. That is the tone for the ages I think is this Tools of Titans. He talks about everything in there from psychedelics being used among Silicon Valley and others for exploration of the mind space to business models that are coming. They are starting to take fire across the world that are very different than what it used to be here. I think we have so many things that are going to change radically in the next few years. It would be a great read for anyone to take a look into the future and also into the past and things like stoicism.

I’ve read both of those as well. If you could take for your company to put an ad on page one of the local business paper, sharing the message of InstantNonprofit.com, what would it say and why?

BLP Lefer Christian Lefer | Starting A Nonprofit

Starting A Nonprofit: To get good reviews, get people what they need.

 

It would probably say, “Whether you’ve already made it and you want to give back or you want to make it by giving back, whichever end of that spectrum you’re on, make it easy on yourself for the things that don’t serve other people.” You have a very unique vision for whatever you want to do to help the community, people, animals or the planet. Only you can serve that particular mission. Don’t denigrate from that mission by trying to struggle through all this paperwork and everything, which is very specialized. As far as I’m concerned, you shouldn’t have to become an expert in something you’re only going to do one time. If you get somebody to help you with that, then you can focus on exactly how you’re going to go about that mission and getting the right people and relationships in place. There are people out there who will write you a check or will write a check for just about any cause. It’s your job to figure out how to connect with them. It’s less time much better spent than slogging through a hundred pages of paperwork.

I think about that potential donor or board member. If you’re set up professionally to start with, they may be motivated as “I’m setting it up” and three months later they go, “I’m still setting it up” and three more months later and you go, “You’re still setting it up?” Pretty soon they’re going to move on. I think that professional approach to getting it done makes sense. One thing I didn’t ask earlier on is what’s the range of expense to get that put in place?

The express package, which is for smaller more local-oriented organizations is about $1,000. It’s about twice that for the organizations that have either substantial amount of assets to start with or a substantial budget, meaning pretty likely receipts of $50,000 in their projections per year in the first three tax years. IRS and the states are always changing their guidelines. Some of these things may move around. It used to be $10,000 and now $50,000, but whether those things change or not, that’s about right now the range. The longest I ever saw this take was 35 months and that was done by a law firm who was very well meaning. They checked an incorrect box and did not realize that hornet’s nest that they stepped on. They went back and forth with the IRS for about 35 months and it was like the mortgage that never closes. The seller is going to go away and the house is going to need some maintenance at that point. In this case, donors and board members found something else to do. There was not much left to this organization by the time they got their approval.

Which is quite a shame because everybody meant to do well. It just didn’t work out that way.

We take this as a sacred charge because these dreams are near and dear to people’s hearts. They’re giving us something that’s very sacred and that they’re trusting with us when somebody signs up. This isn’t like we’re just hawking a product that can be found elsewhere. This is something where that’s a serious trust.

Looking at what you’re doing in the company now and as you look at how you allocate your time now in the focused space that you’re in, what’s the best allocation of time for you now in this organization?

For me personally, it’s making connections with aligned causes and the other people who run organizations and platforms that we can reach people with. We went a little crazy with Google Adwords and pay-per-click. That stuff works great to get a business up and running, but it can become like an opiate addiction. If you quit cold turkey, you could die. If you don’t wean yourself off at some point, you’re going to die a much slower and more painful death, so you better quit now. My job is to go out and get on the stages and platforms of people like yours who have a caring audience, who are harboring a secret dream inside themselves to go do some good in the world and think the nonprofit is too high a hurdle. When they see how we lower that bar for them so that they can do execute their dream, it’s a no-brainer.

It makes it possible. For many of us that would love to do something that way and you go, “There’s the community foundation. There’s various other nonprofits in town.” The ability for what I would consider a nominal amount of money, it’s nice to be able to take, set up and pursue that mission statement that you want to pursue. Instead of looking for nonprofit, you’re looking at all your experiences in this space. Is there a piece of advice, an attribute or an approach that you use that you could share with the reader that most contributed to your success? If I was to answer that myself, I wouldn’t see you stopping for any reason. You are determined and have one foot in front of the other all the time.

We’re definitely determined to grow this and continue to serve people in this way. A few years ago, I had a major transformation as a person. I went from striving to being. Along with that, reckoning of how to be in a more authentic way. That’s percolated through the company where being very real with people, not that you want to put on a front, but not trying to make everything real slick. If you look at the other people in this space like lawyers and accountants, it’s very stiff. There’s a focus on a lot of other websites about how hard this is and how difficult this is. Everybody’s in a suit in a stock photograph. We want to share what it’s like to be in this and that we’re in this together. We’re not some sage on the stage. We’re more of a guide on the side. We are here to get in there and help you with the real problems that you have because we can’t look at everything from the standpoint of lawyers and accountants. We’re here to find everything that could possibly be wrong with your application. We’re here to get you a result.

I think about those as “Do you want to get to market? Yes or no. How fast? We can get you there and we’ve done it for thousands of others straight up. It’s not like we’re trying to figure this out as we go.” There’s an enormous value to that. As you go through, if you were going to give advice to another entrepreneur trying to start an enterprise of some description, what advice would you offer to that CEO or founder that’s trying to go down the same path that you’re going for the first time?

Get out there and sell it. Take the credit card and make the sale and then make sure you deliver. Even if there’s a little bit of gap that you have to fill in and figure out. If you take the person’s money for something, you have to know that you can do it. Have conversations with those people. It’s the lean methodology. Get out into the street, rub shoulders and make some things happen and the rough edges will get knocked off of you for sure. You’ll have to listen to people about what would work, what was great, what wasn’t. You can’t sit here and create something like this in theory and be afraid to get it out there. That’s what a lot of people suffer from, making things a little bit more perfect before selling it.


Instant Nonprofit helps smooth out the speed bumps for some people to actualize their lives and dreams and leave a legacy.
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I think about all the calls that you have done through the years from people wanting to form this. If you were to take in the top three problems that are faced by the people that end up being your clients, what are those problems that they face before they become your client?

One of the biggest problems is it seems so overwhelming. People are so busy in their modern lives by the time they have a job or they have their mainstay and then they get home. They’re either dealing with their own personal to-dos, kids or whatever. They’re searching around on the internet at night for information on how to start a nonprofit. A lot of the information out there are just straight up wrong because it’s based on outdated information that doesn’t apply anymore. It’s written by someone who wanted to write an article but has not filed thousands of 501s. It’s almost permission for that person to go ahead and trust that they can get this done. It’s keeping it simple. They get overwhelmed. Our job as a company is not only to deliver this 501(c)(3) package and do this for them, but to let them know the next one, two or three things that they need to do and to tell them not to worry about the rest. I hear a sigh of relief when I tell someone, “Here’s all you need to do next. Don’t worry about the other stuff.” Because they want to line up all 50 things which is going to shut them right down. It’s fun when I say, “You’re going to get an email with the very next steps. It’s not ten steps out, but the next two.” They say, “I can handle that. I look forward to that.”

My sense of that is for many that are inclined, many didn’t know where to start. Getting on the first is “I will just Google it” and you get an inventory of something.

5,725,000 search results at the top of that page.

You go, “That will start. That must be good. Why is that?” It may or may not be the solution for these steps. I think about not knowing where to start and they’re talking about the people that are looking to start. I thought maybe it’d be interesting. There are a number of people that started their 501(c)(3). Do you have a favorite one or two that you want to give a shout out to that have used you that are now out making a ding in the universe as Jobs might say?

You put me on the spot here. I have to take couple of minutes for that one that I could probably come up with.

We’ll circle back. As you tell people what you do, typically there’s misconceptions about your role as the founder and CEO of this company. What are the typical misconceptions that you run across being the CEO and founder of InstantNonprofits?

It’s two ends of the spectrum. One is that I’m removed the process of what’s going on. That’s why I do sales calls every week. I didn’t start this company to sit in meetings all the time. I love to talk to the people that are thinking about using our service and wanting to start a nonprofit. I make sure that I do some of those every day partly to break that myth that I’m sitting in some corner office. People stop caring because they experience a little bit of success or something.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had someone called and I messed up the number based on the area code and I didn’t screen it. I just had a few minutes and I was like, “I’m not going to go research. I’m going to call this person back that called me twice and didn’t leave a message.” I pick up the phone and that’s a prospect, not even a customer. He’s at the bank having a problem with the bank manager because the banks don’t know what paperwork they even need to start a nonprofit. They’re asking for everything even for things that don’t matter and they don’t even have a right to. As soon as I called, the guy immediately puts me on the speaker phone with the bank manager. He’s got his entire board at the bank. I’m on the spot and I’ve got a few minutes before I have to get in an elevator. I had to be a little stern and tell that bank manager what documents they did and did not need and if they didn’t like it, I was going to recommend to this board to take their business elsewhere.

I got a call twenty minutes later. They did take their business elsewhere to Wells Fargo and got the results that they wanted. It was because I had no time for any bs and to be real nice. I said, “If you can’t accept these three documents these gentlemen are prepared to provide, I’m going to recommend they go elsewhere.” They didn’t ask for anything. They just said, “Thank you very much.” Twenty minutes later I got a call. They’re going to become a customer for sure.

I think about the value of “Been there, done that.” I think about all of the circumstances for you and you go, “This may be atypical for that person in that board.” That is absolutely not atypical after so many times of having done this.

BLP Lefer Christian Lefer | Starting A Nonprofit

Starting A Nonprofit: Always make sure you deliver what you promised even if there is a gap that you have to fill in and figure out.

 

Even if something happens in 5% of cases while you’ve dealt with 100 of them now. That’s what’s the other end of the spectrum is people calling my desk because they got a bank manager on the phone. I’m like, “That’s what we have a staff for.” Although I love to get up in somebody’s business a little bit, tell them how it is. That was a little fun.

Looking over the past few years you’ve been doing this and building the company, I’m always interested in the motivation. What keeps you motivated? What keeps you going?

It’s those exact situations where I get on the phone with someone and they say, “Thank God, I found you. I was about to give up on this dream. My mom died of Alzheimer’s and I want to help people in my community here in Sarasota, Florida,” or their child was killed in an accident. We had somebody that that happened to and they want to start a memorial fund at the school. They’re not rich. They just want to put a few grand and then raise some money from some corporate and maybe local businesses and community people. They call and say, “I’m about done. I can’t do this anymore because it’s so defeating.” They’re busy. They’ve got a life. They’ve got other children or whatever. That’s what keeps me going. I levitate out of bed every morning at [5:00] if I can and [5:30] if not. What gets me to work is the excitement about smoothing out some of those speed bumps for people to actualize their lives and their dreams and leave a legacy. Because nonprofits, if they do anything with it, it’s probably going to be around longer than they will. Their kids can have something to do with it or they can pass it along to other people in the community. That’s something that they can be proud of when they’re facing the next stage of this journey that we’re all on.

Think about the pebble in the pond. You never know where the ripple effect goes. You’re enabling people to jump through some of the regulatory hurdles to form their nonprofit. You never know how many people that nonprofit may benefit that may change lives.

There are several levels. There’s a personal result besides what the nonprofit does. I’ll give you a great example. I went to recommitment of vows for a friend of mine. He was just a kid when I worked for a nonprofit that he ended up working for the same time. It was his first job ever. I went to his recommitment and all of his friends that showed up there, our primary connection was having all worked for the same cause and there was that little smirk on their faces. The person I brought to this event noticed that we had the same trademark smirk because we had all fought in the trenches for the same thing that we believed in. Those relationships will endure and give my life meaning and all of their lives meaning totally outside of whatever it is that nonprofit was doing. You just don’t know how. You don’t know what’s going to become of this, but you just got to jump in and start doing it. Those answers will come to you.

The biggest challenge in this space is people don’t know you’re here. For the readers out there, keep in mind that if there’s somebody that you know or you’re talking with and wants to start a nonprofit with all the documents and so on, you are here, you’re available and you’re experts at what you do. How do they find you if you’re not in office? Where do they find you on social media?

They can go to Facebook and punch in InstantNonprofit. They can go to any of the social media platforms. The easiest thing to do is go to InstantNonprofit.com/bobroark, you’ll see that we have a great download there. It goes through everything one would need to know on how to start a nonprofit. That’s completely free. If they sign up there, we will make a little donation to a nonprofit of Bob’s choice. I think that would be a neat way to give back. I’d rather do that than give Google some more money.

I appreciate the generosity. For us here, we try to make sure the word gets out and we talk to business owners all over the place. We wanted to take in and wind this up with a closing story from you. We think about the people that have called in and they’ll talk to you and says, “I’ve been on this journey. I tried to get it started. I spent all this money. I’m still no further along in the thought process except my checking account is smaller and so on.” There’s a fundamental challenge when you either find somebody that’s not qualified or you find someone that’s done it one time before. You’ve had clients like that call.

What I see with the challenge of that is if you don’t know that there’s a better way to do it, you’re trying to do it by yourself. I don’t know about most people, but I’ve done home projects where I look at it and my wife looks at it after I’m done and she goes, “Don’t you think you could have called in a carpenter to do that? It might have saved some time, effort and maybe a finger.” I think about the folks that are trying to go through and says, “I’m trying to form a nonprofit by myself.” There’s an enormous hurdle to overcome when you’re trying to do it by yourself.

You talked about you could check the wrong box, you could put the wrong language and you could be stuck in limbo for a very long time. Truly, your mission statement is “I want to go out, I want to make a difference and here’s the cause that I believe in.” For you that are out there and are trying to make the decision to do this by yourself. We’ve all seen where we’ve taken on a task and at some point in time, you recognize that you had reached your level of competence and you need to bring in the experts. Christian and his group have done thousands of nonprofit formations and filing successfully. I would urge you, if forming a nonprofit is on your mind, to reach out to Christian and his company. I think you’d be very well served if you do so.

I appreciate that. I probably couldn’t have done that better myself. It’s always a pleasure to work with you, Bob. Thanks for having me on your show. It makes a lot of difference to us.

I’m a fan, that’s why we’re here. I appreciate it. Thanks so much for your time.

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About Christian Lefer

Christain LeferNow he create solutions to benefit the nonprofit sector. His passion has always been to empower others to impact their world: “Unleash your inner hero!”

His family’s involvement in the community and as advocates for foster and adoptive parenting, along with his successful consultancy in founding and fundraising for nonprofits, make his foray into software and solutions for charities a natural.

From 2004 to 2011, he performed high-dollar fundraising and ran special projects across the U.S. for a national grassroots issue advocacy organization, while serving as Executive Director for two state-level groups. During this time he served as a senior adviser or chief evangelist for numerous marketing, issue advocacy, public policy and public officeholder campaigns.

Having organized successful 1st Amendment litigation in state and federal courts, he is proud to have also become a sought-after adviser on free speech and civil liberties issues.

His key strengths include vision, copywriting, marketing (direct and online), and sales. He earned a B.A. from Rutgers University in History/Political Science, cum laude.
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The post The Basics Of Starting A Nonprofit with Christian LeFer appeared first on My podcast website.