Starting a Nonprofit Organization
Interview with Founder Shaun Dakin
Shaun Dakin talks about his venture, The National Political Do Not Contact Registry, and shares a few of the entrepreneurial lessons he's learned along the way.
Shaun Dakin is CEO and Founder of The National Political Do Not Contact Registry, based in Washington, DC.
We recently had a chance to ask Shaun a few questions about his organization.
Shaun, tell me about your startup. What are you doing?
We are creating the nation's only political do not call registry. Stopping political robo-calls is the primary objective of our organization.
In simple terms, we are a non-partisan grass-roots movement formed to take control back by asking our elected representatives to stop calling us at home.
We setup shop in June 2007. We are a 501(c)(3) entity.
What were you doing before you formed The National Political Do Not Contact Registry?
I was doing marketing and product management work for companies like Motley Fool, Laureate Education, Fannie Mae and FedEx.
I raised my startup money from friends and family, and I've been very busy ever since.
Is anybody else doing this?
There is no one else doing this. There are some organizations that play in a wider space, including Green Dimes, ProQuo, and 41 Pounds.
Has your experience in running your organization been different from what you expected?
Yes. As always, I thought that everything I planned for would come to pass. That is not the case, obviously.
What would you have done differently if you were starting over?
I wish I had been able to line up more funding to really do serious PR and marketing.
It seems like you growing at a decent clip. What have you done that has really helped you to grow?
PR has been key for us. We received amazing free media from top-tier media outlets, including the LA Times, NPR, XM, all local network affiliates, Washington Post, San Fran Chronicle, etc. This really helped us to get the word out.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar organization?
Understand the business and the customers. That's the most important thing.
Simple but so true. It all starts with a good understanding of the customer. We wish you all the best as you take your initiative to the next level, and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us.
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