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Start a Nonprofit Literacy Agency

You teach in the local school district where several new immigrant families have enrolled their non-English speaking children. Your school will provide English language services to these children, but who will help their parents learn English?

You work for an employment agency in your small town where the local manufacturing plant has laid off workers, many of whom have low reading and basic skills. Many of these workers will be too embarrassed to seek help. You believe that there should be an alternative to traditional Adult Basic Education (ABE) programming…

Where you live, there are migrant workers employed in the fields and orchards nearby. You want to help them learn English, but you do not know how to get started…

You tutor children at the library after school and soon realize that their parents also need your help. You believe that there should be a tutoring program for adults with low literacy skills and decide that you would like to start a program like this. You realize that you cannot do it alone…

So, you want to start an adult literacy program. What are the first steps? Keep reading for helpful information about forming a nonprofit literacy organization.

You’ll need to begin with several processes at once:   
□    conduct a needs assessment
□    identify stakeholders
□    create a Steering Committee (often includes many stakeholders) 
□    find funding (grant or fiscal sponsor)

If you decide to go ahead and form a nonprofit, you will need to:                        
□    develop a mission and vision statement
□    develop Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
□    apply for 501(c)(3) status
□    secure more funding
□    create a Board of Directors  
□    begin your programming