Are you a change agent? Ready to do some good and make your mark on the world by creating a non-profit organization?
There are over 1.5 million non-profits in the United States today, and that’s an encouraging number. It does mean your non-profit may have some stiff competition.
If you’re ready to start a nonprofit organization, there are some steps you need to know. Keep reading this guide for information about how to start a nonprofit.
Define Your Target
There are almost as many needs in the world as there are people but some needs are universal and chronically unmet. What’s the specific need you wish to address?
Think about the solution you’re proposing and if it’s a true value-add. Some nonprofit examples include serving nutritious meals to the elderly and helping military veterans.
The most important thing about your idea is that it fills a demonstrated need within the community.
Check Types of Nonprofits Near You
Take a look at the different types of nonprofits registered in your area. At this point, you may decide there are too many nonprofits like the one you want to start. If that’s the case, consider partnering with an existing nonprofit.
Does your nonprofit idea look like it fills a hole in the existing area? Now you know where to start a nonprofit! It’s time to move to the next step.
Develop a Financing Plan
Like any start-up, you need a business plan and knowledge of your start-up needs and costs. The initial costs include filing the incorporation paperwork with the state. It’s advisable to use an experienced lawyer for this part of the process.
How will you fund your start-up costs? Do you have donors lined up?
You want your nonprofit set up correctly from the start to avoid any problems with the IRS. One of the benefits of a nonprofit organization is the tax-exempt status but you still must file taxes each year.
Be aware that every state has different regulations for nonprofits but the basics are similar. You’ll first register the name to ensure someone else isn’t already using that name. You’ll then file the certificate of incorporation.
There may be other steps as well depending on the state in which you’re operating. You’ll also need funds for infrastructure such as office space. Don’t forget about workplace safety and insurance that covers any issues that may arise with volunteers on the premises.
Federal Tax-Exempt Status
You can learn how to file and keep your tax-exempt status at the IRS Stay Exempt website. It may take up to several months to receive a tax-exempt ruling on your organization’s application. It’s important to check with experienced tax professionals for tax advice regarding your nonprofit organization.
It’s up to you to keep up to date with all tax regulations and requirements for your nonprofit organization.
Are You Ready to Start a Nonprofit Organization?
If you’ve done your research and you’re sure about your idea, it’s time to start a nonprofit organization! Starting a nonprofit isn’t easy but it’s doable and a worthwhile endeavor. Good luck with your nonprofit!
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