Essential Tips for Starting a Non-Profit Organization

You are excited to get started with your non-profit organization, and you are looking forward to making a positive impact with your community and the world. However, you need guidance to help you along the way.

Although there is a lot that must go into creating a successful non-profit, it is not so overwhelming that the average person cannot do it. There are some steps that you will need to take when you are in the initial stages of your non-profit start up. The following tips, if implemented correctly, will be the tools you need to have a successful non-profit.

Research

When you are considering starting a non-profit, it is important that you conduct some research. You will need to learn as much as you can about the cause you want to support. This will give you insight into knowing the organizations that already exist that are doing the work you are interested in doing. You will know the areas that still need assistance, as well as organizations that you can work with. By continuing to research, you will ensure your organization stays focused on its original mission.

Tax-Exempt Status

It is important to file for tax-exempt status when you want to operate a non-profit. Unfortunately, many non-profits choose to skip over this step because filing for this status can be expensive. They often realize that they need to complete a 501 c3 lookup 

When your organization has tax-exempt status, your donors will be able to receive tax-deductible receipts for any donations they make to your organization. This status is necessary to receive donations from corporations, and you will need it if you plan to apply for grant money for financial assistance.

Do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself. You do not want to find yourself in a position with a major donation pending and you do not have a 501 c3.

Create Your Non-profit Entity

Creating the legal organization for your non-profit can be accomplished in several ways. As previously discussed, the most common way is to establish your business as an independent 501 c3 is through the Internal Revenue Service. This is often a long process, and it requires the incorporation of your company in the state you wish to operate in. You will then need to file for a tax-exempt status using form 1024 from the IRS.

A faster way to do this is to create a non-profit organization through a fiscal sponsorship. This is when an organization that already has 501 c3 exempt status agrees to accept the structure of your non-profit within its organization. This will allow you to begin your non-profit projects while under another organization’s tax exempt status. Fiscal sponsorships are fast, inexpensive and simple. Make sure the organization you choose is reputable and is in good standing with the IRS and other non-profits.

You should have fun when you are helping other people. Always make sure that the people you are helping and the people who volunteer have fun also. That will make your endeavor even more worthwhile.

 

 

 

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