Running and Launching a NonProfit is Hard. This Founder Wants to Make it Easier
Starting a non-profit is no small feat. From gathering documents to getting IRS approval, registering your own non-profit organization can take anywhere from two to 12 months.
One New Orleans-based founder wants to make the process simpler.
Sevetri Wilson founded Resilia to help non-profit organizations scale financially and operationally. Plus, users can create their own nonprofits in just a few steps on the platform.
Resilia was previously ExemptMeNow, a product that let users register their own nonprofit organization directly through the platform. Now the product is one of the various pieces to Resilia. Wilson began to rebrand the platform in late 2018 as the company expanded its offerings.
“As we began to grow, the name [ExemptMeNow] no longer spoke to what we do and the direction we were moving in,” Wilson said. “ExemptMeNow boxed us into a product.”
According to a 2018 report from the Urban Institute, more than 1 million nonprofits were registered with the IRS in 2015 and the sector contributed more than $985.4 billion to the U.S. economy. These organizations are amongst a span of industries like art, health, education, and advocacy nonprofits; labor unions; and business and professional associations.
Resilia guides founders, nonprofit operators, and funders through their tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit application and helps them submit documents to the IRS. The company also sets up reminders to help nonprofits meet deadlines and offers templates for bylaws, conflicts of interests, and other paperwork to take the hassle out of creating documents.
The company also has a cloud where users can store their documents and participate in training sessions on the platform. Webinars cover a range of topics including fundraising, financial management, and planning.
Resilia Enterprise is another product in the company’s ecosystem, specifically for government agencies and private organizations looking to donate money to nonprofits that will help them scale. The product offers a customizable dashboard and alerts for agencies while collecting data from grantees, providing a bigger picture of how funds are utilized.
Wilson’s idea for Resilia came from her first company Solid Ground Innovations, a management and strategic communications firm which launched in 2009. The company’s nonprofit team began growing so much that Wilson decided to switch gears and build a nonprofit startup.
Wilson said that managing the nonprofits with Solid Ground was “very time consuming and a manual process.”
ExemptMeNow became a spin-off of the company’s nonprofit arm in 2016 before being rebranded last year.
“I built Solid Ground from the ground up with no additional outside funds,” Wilson said. “But for ExemptMeNow, I knew I would need venture capital and funds to help scale the company.”
Wilson said that her earlier experiences as an entrepreneur are completely different from now. She said she is more focused on building relationships that will help her secure funding for Resilia, something she neglected to do for Solid Ground.
“You have to be embedded into the investor world before you can make the break to capital,” Wilson said.
Resilia is currently funded by NextWave Venture Partners, The JumpFund, New Orleans Startup Fund, and other angel investors.