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10 Free Things Every New Social Entrepreneur Should Have | Stanford S...

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Forallaspiring socialentrepreneurs,a listofm ust-haves thatare readilyavailable.


ByH alle Tecco Feb.12,2010
successfulsocialentrepreneurisscrappy and resourceful.T hey know how to do m ore with less,and
create a socialim pactwhile doing so.T he 10 resourcesbelow are free m onetarily,buteach isan invaluable
toolforlaunching and sustaining a lean socialenterprise.

1.Interns.Treatthem well,give them m eaningfulprojects,and m ake itworth theirwhile.M ost


universitieseven offercreditforcoursework,so contacta universitysm arketing,nonprofit,orsocialwork
departm ents.You can also postopportunitiesforfree on E nternships(http://www.enternships.com /)and
InternshipIn (http://internshipin.com /).

2.A good lawyer.U nlessyoure also a lawyer,youre going to need to find som eone with legalexpertise to
help you navigate contractsand ensure you com ply with state and federallaw.Fortunately,m any lawyersare
generousenough to donate a portion oftheirtim e to pro bono projects.C orporateProBono
(http://www.corporateprobono.org/),a nationalinitiative ofthe A m erican C orporate C ounselA ssociation,plays

m atchm akerbetween nonprofitsand such generousattorneys.

3.501(c)3 status.O kay you cantskirtpaying forfiling these form s,butyou can save by filing them
yourself.Yes,itstim e consum ing and challenging;butIguarantee yourjourney ahead willbe even m ore so.
W hen Iwastrying to incorporate Yoga Bearasa 501(c)3,Iused the N olo G uideStarting & Building a
N onprofit,which Iborrowed from the locallibrary.

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10 Free Things Every New Social Entrepreneur Should Have | Stanford S...

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4.B oard M em bers.Finding directorswith com plem entary skills,aswellasthe experience and spiritof
public service to guide yourorganization isessential.Postyouropportunitieson BoardN etU SA
(http://www.boardnetusa.org/),BoardSource(http://www.boardsource.org/),and VolunteerM

atch

(http://www.volunteerm atch.org/).

5.LocalSupport.K now thy neighbor.R egardlessifyourinitiative ishyper-localorentirely global,get


involved with the localchangem akerm ovem ent.A greatplace to startisjoining the listserv ofyourlocal
YN PN

(http://lists.ynpn.org/lists/)chapter.Youllbe added to an e-m aillistthatexchangesideas,questions,

localnews,and events.

6.G lobalE xposure.Itgoeswithoutsaying thatyou willneed to create a TwitterA ccountand Facebook


Page,atthe very least.U se N am echk (http://www.nam echk.com /)to see ifyourorganizationsusernam e isstill
available.E ven ifyou dontplan on starting a YouTube page,claim the nam e now.

7.C ollaboration and m anagem enttools.T hese toolsare especially im portantifvolunteersand team
m em bersare geographically dispersed.G oogle D ocs(http://docs.google.com /)orPBworks
(http://www.pbworks.com /)are two excellent(and free)products thatwillallow

you to coordinate work on

docum entsand spreadsheets.A nd theSalesforce Foundation (http://foundation.force.com /hom e)donatesC R M


productlicensesto qualified nonprofits.

8.A greatlogo.Iam farfrom an artist,butIam proud to say thatIcreated the Yoga Bear
(http://www.yogabear.org/)logo using stock photo artand a free version ofPhotoshop.Try G IM

(http://www.gim p.org/),a free Photoshop-like software and theirfree tutorials(http://gim p-tutorials.net/)to learn

how.

9.A W eb site.Yourhom e on the web.D epending on yourneedsand program m ing skills,there are a
plethora ofoptions.Ifyou know a bitofH T M L,try N ing (http://www.ning.com /)to create a hom epage with
socialnetwork featureslike m essage boardsand a blog (thisiswhatwe use forYogaBear
(http://www.yogabear.org/)).O rifyou need an easy drag-and-drop interface,use W

eebly(http://www.weebly.com /).

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10 Free Things Every New Social Entrepreneur Should Have | Stanford S...

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10.A n U nderstanding ofthe Space.K nowledge ofthe work being done in yourniche can open doorsand
opportunitiesto key players.C reate aG oogle alert(http://www.huffingtonpost.com /halle-tecco/www.google.com /alerts)
(such ashom elessnessA N D D etroitorcancerA N D yoga)to receive daily orweekly em ailswith links
to newsstoriesusing these keywords.Youllstartto learn who ism aking stridesin the dom ain,and be able
to reach outto those team s.K eep in m ind thatthere are no com petitors,aslong aseveryone hasthe sam e
m ission.

Thisisfarfrom a com prehensivelistoftheam azing freetoolsoutthere.Pleaseshare!W hathaveyou used to


launch and sustain a successfulsocialenterprise?

H alle Tecco isa San Francisco residentand socialentrepreneurpassionate abouttechnology,service and


healthy living.She isthe Founderand Executive D irectorofYoga Bear,a non-profitproviding m ore
opportunitiesofhealth and wellnessto cancerpatientsthrough the practice ofyoga.H alle hasworked asa
ProductM anageratvariousconsum er-internetstartups,including Enternships.com and K iva.org.She also
servesasan advisorto GreatN onprofits.org.She ispursuing herM BA atH arvard BusinessSchooland will
graduate in 2011.

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