"Have a passion to serve the people, advocate for the cause, provide the solution, and spread awareness."
– Angela V. McKnight
By Angela V. McKnight
Founder & CEO / AngelaCARES, Inc.
7 Years In Business
I am Angela V. McKnight, and I am currently serving as the first African American woman to serve as the Assemblywoman for the 31st district, as well as the Founder and CEO of AngelaCARES, Inc, and Owner and President of Care About You, LLC.
Working with people has become one of my primary interests, along with caring for others and the community. It was my caregiving duties and passion to help others that made me found AngelaCARES, Inc., a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that serves youth, seniors and senior caregivers in 2011. I am also the owner and president of the company, Care About You, LLC that provides care management plan for seniors. I self-published authored my first book, titled Caregiver's Guide to Helping Seniors Eat Healthy. I also coach entrepreneurs to start and grow their business, and conduct a variety of trainings and workshops that enriches the mind.
I believe assistance, empowerment, and support are the key factors to make a positive impact in peoples’ lives. My passion and drive to help others is something I believe everyone can do, and something that non-profits are especially suited to do well. Over the last 7 years, I have worked for, founded, and served multiple non-profits on my path to raise awareness and make positive change for causes I feel passionate about.
Creating amazing, positive change is possible with passion and dedication. If you also have the passion to serve, advocate, and find solutions through creating a non-profit, read my top tips below.
Here are my 7 vital tips to help you run an amazing nonprofit:
Name the Team
As you are fulfilling the mission of your nonprofit, you may have paid staff, unpaid staff, volunteers, interns etc., serving with you. Go ahead and name your team! By naming your team, all who help fulfill the mission of the nonprofit will feel more part of the team. For example, I call my team members, “Team Warriors.” No matter, if a team member is an intern, volunteer, paid or unpaid, they are all part of the team and creating a name that fits them will help boost their productivity and drive to continue making a difference. In addition, they will share their beautiful experience with others.
Use FREE Resources
A nonprofit uses grants, donations, volunteers, interns, etc., to fulfill its mission daily. A nonprofit should add, FREE resources to the mix. These resources can help you bring in monetary and in-kind donations, spread awareness about the nonprofit, what it does and who it serves, creates marketing materials, get feedback from the people it serves, the community and so much more. There are many FREE resources that a nonprofit can use such as Facebook, Canva, Survey Monkey, Google docs, Next Door, that should leverage to use!
Knowing how your nonprofit is doing is essential. With the goal of seeking constant feedback, your nonprofit will grow. Therefore, your nonprofit needs to solicit feedback from the people it helps, from funders that are giving, from team members and from other agencies that are also serving the community. When you get feedback whether it is good or bad, the nonprofit must ACT! The nonprofit acts by sharing the good with others such as team, funders, your supporters and the community. In addition, the nonprofit works on the bad to make it better such as priorities, services and operations.
In order to fulfil the mission of your nonprofit, you must delegate. Delegating to members of your team, allows your team to utilize their skills and talents. It also allows more creativity to occur and team members to feel part of the nonprofit. In addition, it gives upper management especially, the Founder/CEO/Executive Director the opportunity to focus on strategic planning and other important obligations. However, when you delegate, ensure that tasks are clearly outlined, times lines are set and team members, who are given tasks, can ask clarifying questions. So, what do you do now? Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.
Volunteers are vital to a nonprofit. The skills that volunteers have are priceless. These skills include, but not limited to clerical, receptionist, expertise in a field (marketing, grant writing, finance) and mentoring. Volunteers are willing to give their time to causes that are near and dear to their heart. Some volunteers just want to give back to their community. You should put out a call for volunteers. However, be specific as volunteers want to know exactly how they can help make a difference.
A nonprofit cannot fulfill its mission alone, help is always needed. Therefore, partnerships are vital. Partnering with fellow nonprofits, with a community member, with an agency, a local bank or a group of people, more work will get done. As you form a partnership with another entity, always ensure that your partners are benefiting from the partnership. Partnerships should always have a win-win outcome.
Yes, I will admit that making a cold call to a potential donor can be a little uneasy. On the flip side, making a cold call, can give you direct access to the person you want to contact. Never underestimate the power of making a live connection! This is a live opportunity for a nonprofit to articulate its mission to secure a donation (now or in the future) and bring more awareness to the community. Please remember, all avenues of securing donations and spreading awareness should be on the table.
To run an amazing nonprofit, you must have a passion for it, YES PASSION. If you don’t have a passion for what you are doing, you will not give your 100% to the cause. Your engine will run out, and the you will have a hard time doing the work. At all times, you must do what is right for the organization and the people that are helping you.
These 7 tips that I have given you are vital, and these will help you run an amazing nonprofit. Always remember, you started the nonprofit and/or took the leadership role in the nonprofit, so you must do all that you can do, to ensure that its mission is fulfilled. That means serve the people, advocate for the cause, provide the solution to the problem and/or spread awareness!
More About Angela
Angela is a certified New Jersey State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor; Vice Chair of I Love Greenville Community Plan, Community Representative Committee on the Lutheran Senior LIFE at Jersey City Committee, the Chair of the Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee; Board Member of Alliance, formerly Horizon Health Center, Board Member of United Way of Hudson County, Board Member of Jersey City Community Charter School, Advisor Member of Public School #15, Member of Black Wall Street Jersey City, and holds other community roles and have receive many awards for her services to the community.