Several readers of this column have asked that we talk about some start-up topics for nonprofits. Therefore I will do a few columns dedicated to that specific area of business start-up activity.

SCORE is a 50-year-old non-profit with over 10,000 volunteers who provide free business counseling and no or low-cost workshops to new and emerging small businesses nationwide. While most of SCORE’s work has focused on small businesses, over the years it has assisted some start-up and emerging non-profit organizations, particularly on business issues. As a result of these experiences, SCORE strongly believes that to be effective, competitive and sustainable, nonprofits must not only be caring and creative, they must run their operations as businesses.

In our democratic society, we ask non-profit organizations to fulfill several important responsibilities, from providing public benefit and serving the underprivileged to advancing education and science and reducing the burden of government. We also expect nonprofits to operate on a higher, more noble plane than other organizations, and we insist that they focus on public good rather than private gain in accomplishing their goals.