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Nonprofit University

Gwinnett Series | How to Start a Nonprofit

This evening workshop is designed to help those who want to start a nonprofit organization and those in the first year of startup.

Passion may get you started, but government, funders, and policies are critical to lasting success. Many people think there are too many nonprofits, or that new nonprofits will simply duplicate existing ones. Learn how to overcome these perceptions, and other challenges to your launch, to ensure you are ready. In addition, we’ll cover all the fundamentals – in legal, financial, planning, governance, and fundraising terms – needed to start and sustain a successful nonprofit organization. 

What you’ll learn:

  • Legal issues, from registering your name through securing tax-exempt status
  • Organizational management, including Incorporation and bylaws
  • Board governance, including nonprofit board roles and responsibilities
  • The development and use of mission, vision, and values
  • How to build your business plan and case for support
  • Fundraising, from grant writing to donor engagement
  • How to build your support team
  • Online resources, assessments, and tools to help create legal documents and other materials

The workshop will be taught by GCN Executive VP Kathy Keeley, who has started nine nonprofits in her career and grown each into a strong community organization that continues to thrive today — including the nation’s first loan fund for women-owned businesses. You’ll learn from a seasoned, successful practitioner about what works and what doesn’t as you consider your nonprofit’s earliest stages. Through lively discussion with fellow nonprofit entrepreneurs, you’ll also begin building your support network, and gaining a place in the community of difference-makers, while getting your nonprofit plans into gear. 


Aspiring nonprofit founders and executives at nonprofits in their first year.

About the facilitator

Jack Beckford is founder and Senior Partner at Beckford Consulting, providing planning, development, training and assessment services to nonprofit organizations and foundations in the Southeast. As the founding director of a nonprofit organization, chair of three boards of directors, and with 15 years of experience as a grantmaker, Jack brings a valuable mix of perspectives and experience to assisting nonprofit organizations. Since founding Beckford Consulting in 2002, Jack has provided organizational development, fundraising planning, board training, assessments, and retreat facilitations to more than 80 nonprofit organizations and half a dozen foundations. He has served on the consulting team at GCN and as a community coach for the Neighborhood Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Previously, he spent 13 years at the Fund for Southern Communities (FSC), which raised money from individual donors and private foundations, evaluated proposals for grant awards, and provided technical assistance and training to small community groups in Georgia and the Carolinas. While at FSC, Jack was a member of the National Network of Grantmakers, and chaired the “Funders Who Fund in the South” working group. He helped form and served on the board of directors for Georgia Shares and the Southern Rural Development Initiative. Earlier, Jack had served as interim associate for National Relief and Development for the Presbyterian Hunger Program of the Presbyterian Church, USA.




Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services
750 S Perry Street
2nd floor, Suite 231
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Registration Details


Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or 678-916-3081.

Receive $50 off per class for multiple class registrations and for additional registrants from the same organization. In addition, if you are a Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services partner, or GNLI alumni, we will match $50 additional off your total registration. To register at discounted rates, please contact our team at [email protected].

Explore the entire Gwinnett Series.

Thank you to our sponsors, Primerica and Nordson, and partner Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services for hosting the series.