According to the UN Women, nearly 736 million women have experienced non-partner sexual violence, intimate partner violence, or a combination of both at least once in their lives. Thirty percent of these cases happen to women that are 15 years old and older. These statistics don’t include depression and anxiety caused by years of abuse, sexual harassment, sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancy.
The staggering cases and numbers speak for themselves: women all over the world are suffering, and you can do something to help. If you want to be a part of this advocacy, here’s a guide on building a safe place for all the women in need.
Establish Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
Since you will be building a non-profit organization, the first thing that you need to do is to set up and establish your purposes. As an organization, you should have a clean and precise outline of what you believe in. Your mission statement should include information such as:
- How you would like others to view your non-profit
- Primary services and benefits to the clients
- Groups of clients who will benefit from your organization
- Values that will guide the operation of your organization
Assemble a Board of Directors
Though you are about to set up an NGO or a charitable organization, you still need to understand that you should run it like a business. To do that, you will need a board of directors by recruiting professionals in the fields of technology, management, fundraising, legal issues, and human resources.
The main job of the board of directors is to set strategies and policies for your NGO in line with your purpose, vision, and mission. They will also set operational guidelines, budgets, and plans that will support the entire organization. In most cases, they are also called on to make important decisions regarding funding.
The board of directors is also responsible for assisting the internal operations of the non-profit by setting up criteria for membership, appointing new members, evaluating and reviewing panels, and looking for potential support groups. They also play a significant role in representing the NGO in a larger audience or community.
Register Your Non-profit Organization
Generally speaking, the process of registering an NGO depends on which city and state you are located in. In most cases, municipal offices have a dedicated team that handles NGO registrations. Other government bodies that you can contact are the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Department of Social Development and Human Rights.
Some states allow you to apply online, and you need to print the form out, fill it up and send the documents by mail or thru scan and email. In other cases, you may be asked to go to their office personally to make the application. A registration fee can range from $100 to $500, depending on which state you’re in. It would also take two to three weeks before you can get the approval of your application.
After arranging the permit, the next on your to-do list is to file for tax exemption. Most non-government organizations in the United States qualify for state and federal tax exemption, depending on their activities and the types of benefits they receive. To do this, it is best to apply directly to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). They have the information on the exact instructions and processes you have to go through when filing for tax exemption.
Build Your Team
Nearly 640 million women aged 15 and beyond have experienced abuse from their intimate partners and husbands. If you aim to build a safe refuge for women, you need to understand that a male figure or presence may trigger some past trauma. To avoid that, it is best for you to build a team composed of women who specialize in the fields of medicine, rehabilitation, and social work. It would also be helpful to have a reputable divorce lawyer that can handle cases for women who want to leave their abusive husbands.
Let Your Presence Be Known
Market your NGO using traditional media like posters and flyers on bulletin boards. You can also make use of today’s technology by utilizing social media. Create posts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Make sure that your posts are public so others can share them as well. It will also help if you have a website that contains information such as the location of your head office and how to contact you.
You are fighting the good fight, and as an organization focused on helping abused women, you should make sure that your voice is heard loud and clear. Somewhere out, a woman is desperate for help, and your organization will be there to see them through.