How To Start A Nonprofit In High School

how to start a nonprofit in high school, Image by Midjourney
how to start a nonprofit in high school, Image by Midjourney

With their vital energy and intense passion, high school students are perfect change agents. One of the factors that can help young youth learn how the world of grown-ups works is starting a nonprofit volunteering opportunity in high school. Nonprofit businesses help young students prepare for adult life and improve their future resumes when they begin their careers. This post helps young high school students with some guidelines to understand how to start a nonprofit in high school.

Tell me, young man/woman, what social cause are you trying to address?
Hmmm, can you tell me more about that.

You are planning to offer innovative solutions to social problems through the work of your yet-to-be nonprofit. For this reason, you need to define the social problem you will work on contributing to. This can be related to accessing services in your neighborhood, improving the quality of some interventions, or safeguarding and protecting segments in your community. Also, please know that your cause doesn’t have to be new because this is rarely found. However, you must understand and study the problem you are trying to solve and what solutions are already out there to address it.

With your cause in mind, you plan your goals and the why you will tell donors and others about your nonprofit.

Then, you dive into these specifics:

Educate yourself on how to start a nonprofit

I know you already have a lot of coursework that you have to finish. However, enrolling in a few short online courses on the topic will help you get your head straight about what you need to be aware of. Of course, online research and readings can do the job perfectly too.

I recommend that you create a free account on You will find excellent and easy-to-follow material and curricula on various topics related to starting a nonprofit.

An action plan in place, this is how to start a nonprofit in high school

Since you have set your goals and social causes above, you are ready to dig deeper into your plan for achieving these goals. To help you draft an outline for your action steps, find answers to:

  • Who are your primary beneficiaries? why?
  • How can you best reach your primary target audience?
  • How can you serve and support your primary target?

Following, you need to consider how much money you will need to achieve your goals and who will be providing income.

Call for volunteers

Gather your friends around, encourage them to volunteer, and help change the world with you. For example, you can ask your school for permission to hang up posters about your nonprofit and how to reach you if they are interested. Also, if your neighborhood is famous for some churches, you can always pass by and tell them how you want to change the community to a better place and if they want to volunteer to be part of that.

Collect some money

In the same meeting, you will ask your school teachers and principal to call for volunteers for your nonprofit and discuss the possibility of organizing a fundraising event. Remember that you must create a win-win situation for your school to approve. For this reason, you have to be innovative and creative to make this happen.

You can also consider planning a virtual fundraising event to tell others about your nonprofit and collect some money.

Market for your cause

Most of your friends and classmates are already very active on social media. This can help increase your reach on different platforms. You can create engaging posts to tell others about your nonprofit, the social causes you address, and the solutions you provide for the community. Of course, you can always ask for the support of your school teachers to make this easier for you. Also, you can ask your teachers for a 5-minute orientation that you can do before class time.

Ask your friends about their opinion on your social media content. Make sure they find it attractive and appealing. Create stories, reels, and posts and ask them to re-share them on their profiles. This helps in letting people know about your nonprofit quickly.

All this comes after choosing a catchy name for your nonprofit

The name of your nonprofit is essential. There are many volunteering activities but the catchy name you can choose for your initiative can make your work stand up among others.

I know most nonprofits can choose serious and deep-meaning names. However, since you are still in high school, you can be innovative in naming your business. Don’t be afraid that people will shy away and think you are less serious; volunteers and donors are attracted to differentiation.

Please don’t make it too long for others to remember.

Final thoughts to high school student on how to start a nonprofit

I know I have bombarded your head with many thoughts! I also know that doing all this with your recurrent studies requires a lot of commitment. However, if you have the passion and dedication for your cause, I assure you that you will get there eventually. Remember that you will learn many interpersonal and technical skills at a young age, which will help you a lot in the adult world.

Decide on your cause, devise an action plan with innovative solutions, fundraise, and market for your nonprofit, and you will be fine. Of course, you can always ask volunteers and teachers to help you.

One final thought for you is to look for a like-minded mentor to help you with your cause. Your mentor should also be familiar with the process to make things easier.

And, of course, we are here to help anytime as well.

Meet The Author Of This Article

I’m Jenny Ayman, a project manager in the development field with specific knowledge and experience in capacity building and entrepreneurship programs. I aspire to transfer the hands-on experience I gain in my professional career through writing.

Also, if you need help planning your business, I recommend checking out some of our freelancer’s business plans or pitch decks!