How To Start a NonProfit | Grantboost

Starting a nonprofit is an exciting and challenging endeavor that can have a tremendous impact on the community. It requires dedication, passion, and hard work in order to be successful. Before starting a nonprofit, consider if it makes sense to align with an existing organization that is already fighting for your cause.

Although starting a nonprofit is not easy and comes with great responsibility and commitment, the rewards are far greater than any of the challenges faced along the way. With thoughtful preparation, determination and optimism for success, you can create a lasting difference in your community through starting and leading a nonprofit organization.

What is a nonprofit organization?

A nonprofit organization is a type of company that is organized for the purpose of furthering a social or public cause. One of the key differentiators is that Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs) are typically exempt from paying federal taxes. Instead they use their income to fund their mission rather than paying dividends to shareholders.

There are a variety of different types of nonprofits that can be formed, depending on your goals and the cause.

For example:

Business associations, churches, social clubs and consumer cooperatives are all other types of nonprofits that can be established.

What are the benefits of creating a nonprofit?

First and foremost, nonprofits can provide a way to bring people together to work toward a common goal. Typically these goals are centered around solving a problem for the good of society. A nonprofit can offer opportunities for individuals to get involved in their communities and make a difference. As the Founder of a NonProfit, you’ll be able to work directly with your community as a spokesperson for their issues.

Second, nonprofits can be an effective way to raise awareness and funds for important causes. There are a lot of fundraising strategies that can be deployed by nonprofit operators to help fight the right causes. One of the more common tactics is sending out Letters of Inquiries to inquire about Grant Opportunities.

Last but not least, nonprofits are eligible for tax-exempt status. Starting a nonprofit entity does not automatically guarantee tax-exempt status, however. Each state in the US has slightly different requirements for starting a nonprofit and being granted 5013c (tax-exempt) status. The GrantBoost team can simplify this process for you. Our expert team helps customers navigate this process everyday. When you’re ready to take the jump, a free consultation session can go a long way.

There are other benefits to being recognized as a charitable entity by the IRS–

Potential donors might view your organization more favorably due to its charitable status; increased credibility among other nonprofits; preferential listing in directories for foundations; certain exemptions from federal excise taxes; eligibility for state sales tax exemption; eligibility for reduced postal rates; as well as exemption from federal income tax on related activities conducted by the organization.

If you are interested in starting a nonprofit organization, there are many resources available to help you get started.

What are the steps to starting a nonprofit?

The requirements for each state are going to vary. Each state will require different forms to fill out for the Articles of Incorporation.

The first step is to research the requirements for forming a nonprofit in your state. Most states will require you to file the articles of incorporation with them. Arguably the most crucial piece of forming a nonprofit. This exercise may seem tedious but it’s designed to help set your team up for success.

As a general guideline, most states will ask for the following requirements

  1. You’ll need to pick a name
    1. Most states will start with requiring a unique name to identify your organization by.
  2. Board of Directors
    1. Form the team! Most states require new nonprofits to have at least 1 board member. The IRS typically will require at least 3 members for 5013(c) status. Keep this in mind if you want to take advantage of the aforementioned benefits.
    2. Need at least 3 people for tax exempt status
  3. Draft Bylaws
    1. You’ll likely want to include a policy on resolving conflicts of interest.
    2. Plan a compensation strategy if you plan to hire employees
  4. Designation of an agent (usually requires a physical address)
  5. Filing fees – be sure to follow the instructions on the forms and pay all applicable filing fees.

The process, forms, and requirements will vary state-to-state.

Once you have the necessary paperwork in order, you can begin the process of recruiting volunteers, raising funds, and achieving tax-exempt status.

What are the steps to achieving tax-exempt (5013c) status?

Obtaining tax-exempt status can be a highly beneficial move for organizations. Not only does the process provide orgs with greater financial stability, but there are other benefits such as increased public visibility, potential access to additional funding sources, and the ability to provide services without having to worry about incurring taxes.

Apply for 501c3 status

Applying for 501c3 status can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

You’ll need to provide:

Next, submit your application to the IRS. You can do this online, by mail, or through a third-party provider like Grantboost. Once your application is received, the IRS will review it and determine whether you meet the criteria for 501c3 status.

If you do this by yourself, this process can sometimes take a loooong time if you do not have the necessary forms or submit the wrong information.

Once approved, you’ll receive a letter confirming your status and outlining any next steps.

Overall, it’s important to remember not just why you wanted to start this type of organization but also being aware of every regulation required when forming a nonprofit – this will ensure your efforts result in success.

Tax-exempt status provides organizations with an opportunity to operate on a sounder financial footing and more effectively pursue their goals and objectives. Additionally, it can also lead to increased public recognition of the organization’s mission and work - thus potentially increasing the level of support they may receive from donors or other members of the community.

Ultimately, the advantages offered by achieving tax-exempt status are substantial, making it a worthy pursuit for any organization serious about furthering its operations in a financially secure manner.

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