Every sista should have at least a for-profit branded product line and a non-profit branded endeavor to establish a well-rounded self-branding entity. In this article we are going to talk about how sistas should go about creating the non-profit or establish a social cause. While sistas do not have to create an 501c non-profit organization and can just do crowdfunding campaigns and work on behalf of established non-profits, we strongly recommend a sista do create her own 501c organization to support her cause to be able to receive corporate-matching donations and leverage her non-profit to travel to Cuba and be able to do international goodwill stuff to promote her brand globally. Creating a 501c non-profit is beyond the scope of this article but there is information available online to do so in your local region. What we want to discuss here is determining the type of non-profit to create, how to raise money, how to handle your business pursuing your social cause and overall strategies for success. If you watched House of Cards First Season on Netflix you would saw the Senator wife running a non-profit organization and she had to fire people, but remember – she hired those people and that is the power of a good non-profit, using the donation to hire other sistas and give them jobs. And when the wife got to be Second Lady, she gave that non-profit away to another sista to run, right? Yes, I’m sorry black woman that Essence and Scandal and Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry the rest of that shit don’t tell you sistas how to make socialite boss moves but at least Dream and Hustle is stepping up, huh? Separating Non-Profits from Social Causes What we want self-branding sistas to do is look at non-profits that deal with cute kids and adorable puppy angle. This means helping children in Africa or Latin America with education, business or trips or technology equipment or kids in America with that stuff but like Oprah said, kids in South Africa want books while American kids want the latest sneakers. Puppy and kitty shelters are cool also and things like funding free pet manicures for a day in poor communities. All of this is good photo-op and nothing is better than huge pictures of a poor Section 8 kid hugging on his new shampooed mutty German Shepard Doberman mix or a Latin American or African child with big sad looking eyes and a happy smile and you saying your charity help these kids. This is all good photo op stuff. Now, I know what you sistas is thinking – you want to support women shelters and halfway house and stuff like that – do you think your brand will grow with you smiling next to a domestic abuse victim with a patch over her eye and she talking next to you while cameras rolling about how she got her ass beat every other day by her man that she thought she was going to change after he just got out of prison or cut from the NFL roster? No, what you going to do is use your own money and just donate to these organizations like women shelters but you ain’t going to market that as your non-profit brand, okay? Remember that because overall people like to give to happy things more than depressing stuff and your strategy to that is to get money from happy things to support the real and gritty social needs out there. So remember that your non-profit is an extension of your self-branding empire while the social causes are things you are going to give money to. If a chick left her kids in the car to go apply for a job -that is a social cause you donate to her crowdfunding page and you mention you helped her out for publicity and social media likes. But your non-profit is where you have a pet & owner dress-alike costume contest/party where money is raised to support a pet shelter with a picture of you hugging an adorable puppy. So remember the difference and don’t get twisted talking about your self-branding non-profit is helping child gang members move from Chicago to Des Moines, Iowa to escape the hood. How to Raise Money Raising money for a social cause is not hard, the problem is cats be wanting to straight solicit money. What you will find running a non-profit is raising money can actually be fun. For example, having a geofencing treasure hunt with a $50 entry fee to find clues and win donated gift cards and gift certificates and tablets and stuff like that around Atlanta to support your non-profit is fun stuff and people like that. The thing is you want to be creative in activities to raise money and remember that you are engaged in building your brand so you must include social activities that have you seen to post photos and have others write up what you doing for media attention. Let’s just blurt out some stuff you sistas can do as some ideas: VIP Section at a Club. This is where people can spend $100 to hang out at your VIP table at an upscale club and you take their money and get the tables at a discount from the club who want to be mentioned they doing this for your non-profit. That is money that goes into the non-profit. In case you asking, yes I rather be at your VIP table supporting your non-profit than being somewhere around trashy club chicks looking at me like I ain’t got no money when she ain’t got no money either. Host a Private Event. This can be a boutique or an art gallery but just have a fundraising event and use EventBrite or whatever to book the tickets and do this month in advance to sell out the event and line up more events to sell out. This also help you learn how to run your for-profit events later down the road. It is best to use a boutique or art gallery so you can setup some vendor tables and also just buy some wine from Sams Club or Costco and people can pour their own drinks from red cups and stuff. More money and revenue goes to the non-profit coffers. Setup a Donation Page. On the e-commerce web site, have a blurb in the about section about your charity to show your social good side to boost for-profit sales. On your blog and social media pages, link to your non-profit to show those lame brothas that you on a whole new level that will require these lame bros to step up their game also to keep up with a sista. And if a brotha pester you, you can talk about your non-profit and see if they donate to it and how much and if he a fake bro, he will disappear with his broke behind but if he got money, he’ll break some bread off your non-profit if he see you doing your thing and will support you and be proud of a sista. See, I just showed you sistas how to find a good man with money. Create Crowdfunding Campaigns. These are campaigns that your organization will use to do things like clean up a park, buy a lot of land and turn it into a food truck park to support local micro-entrepreneurship and other stuff. The key is to focus on small $2,000 - 5,000USD goals and keep the amount small and reasonable and build up over time and then you will start seeing bigger crowdfunding efforts from your track record of smaller ones over time. Just be patient and start small with crowdfunding. Make sure you mention the funds is for your non-profit so cats don’t think it coming to you and when they see you actually have a non-profit, that may motivate them to give to your campaign. Spreading Awareness of Your Non-Profit How do you spread awareness of your non-profit and get the word out? Show up and show out everywhere. Remember that your strategy is to mix and mingle your non-profit to be a compliment to your for-profit product line so you show up on behalf of your non-profit, cats will know about your for-profit and talk about it to others and that is how your brand will explode and both efforts are supported. Let’s talk about some techniques you can do to spread awareness. Setup a 10x10 Canopy and Rent USB Power Banks. Instead of having a 10x10 tent at an event and you just have fliers and trinkets to pass out, you setup a USB power bank rental service and have some women or school girls run the booth. See, if you just do fliers, then you are losing money looking at cats grabbing fliers, recycled bags and rubber stress toys you paid for to pass out. But if you do an USB power bank rental, then cats will pay for a service and the money goes to your non-profit but also, you are dealing with cats who doing money transactions with you and those the cats you want to reach to get on your mailing list to donate money to your non-profit and show up and support your future events down the road. Make Appearance at Events. Whether it is the opening of a pop-up shop in Lower East Village, New York City or the premiere of an independent film here in Atlanta, make sure you are there and can take photos of yourself at the event. Even stuff like Super Bowl and All-Star and the local basketball team, just be there and be seen and take photos of you being there. Find out if another sista is throwing an event and show up there and support her and take selfies with her and post to your page showing you down with supporting others getting it on. Tag her in your social media so her followers can see you also in action and you then steal her followers while pretending you supporting her. Social Media Campaign. Your staffers or you maintain a social media and web site where you constantly post yourself at appearance and you even have a video talking to your fan base saying what is going on and how great the event is. Even if the event suck, you are a self-branded entity and need to elevate everything around you and if you say it was a good event, it was a good event. You always have to remember sista that you are happy in every situation that you are placed in and make the best out of it! Then post up the non-profit even on your personal page which will help you get rid of your fake friends who will be mad seeing you making real moves. Contact the Media. Get a list of contacts at the newspaper, bloggers and so on because they will likely support a non-profit over a for-profit self-promotion. A lot of big cities have shows that promote local events and happening and you get on that show and promote your non-profit and what you are doing and show pictures of cute adorable puppies to make the TV show host gush and blush and make sure you have your contact information for people to donate or show up at your event or just support your non-profit. Write Corporations for Sponsorship or Solicitation. Yes, you can write corporations and tell them to sponsor your non-profit and some of them can just write some checks or sponsor your non-profit with advertisement or free samples to pass out to the audience. When corporations start supporting your non-profit brand, that helps increase your socialite status and will spill over into your for-profit personal brand in terms of sales boosting. You can ask to speak at their corporation of just rent a table in their lobby to explain what you do. If you have not realized by now, the spreading awareness of your non-profit will help you in your for-profit operation get the word out and also increase your visibility fast. Yes, your non-profit is your secret marketing machine for your overall brand. Takeaway Strategies for Your Non-Profit The key takeaway from this article is to understand how a smart non-profit strategy will complement your overall self-branding campaign. You can use the non-profit to promote your for-profit and you are your own brand ambassador of your non-profit while at the same time, you are still your own brand ambassador to your for-profit branded product line you selling in the market. You can leverage most of your promotions and marketing budgets and social activities in the non-profit and watch it spillover into your for-profit operation. My only concern as a black man is you sistas being too much woman for me. I mean, you sistas start telling me you have this non-profit that support abandoned kittens and show me the before and after photos of the kittens your non-profit caring for and you having a pop-up party at a Laundromat and you are the DJ spinning EDM and Afrobeat, then how I’m going to impress you with my good job and good car? That ain’t right and I damn near got to be King of a country to impress you sistas after you doing all those kind of self-branding moves. But for real, you sistas need to be building global empires and run things especially here in Atlanta and this is how you got to do it. Remember that non-profits can be fun and should be filled with activities like treasure hunts, socialite parties, pop-up thrift shops of donated clothing (we mentioned that on the Global Urban Collective Facebook group but I guess you didn’t join the group to see that one, huh?) to raise money and you use that money to pay the salary of sistas currently attending Clark-Atlanta and Georgia State University and the rest for your social cause. Grant writing is boring and mundane but you are self-branding and look at using your non-profit to boost your self-branding, not sit around writing up corny boring grants. Now after all that, you know what is next – running for mayor of Atlanta and becoming Vice President at a job you used to work at once your branded empire get off the ground. This is why you must have a non-profit organization because that goes on your resume and separate you from the pack. Overall, a non-profit and a for-profit is your ying and yang to create the ultimate self-branded strategy to go for yours and get up and running fast.