How to Start a 501(c)(3)
If you have a cause that you are passionate about, starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization will help you raise awareness for it and provide an avenue for obtaining funds to help support it. Here are the 12 basic steps you’ll need to follow to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
1. Determine the nonprofit’s primary objective
2. Formulate a mission statement
3. Choose your Board of Directors
4. File Articles of Incorporation
5. Create the organization’s bylaws
6. Develop an operating budget
7. Develop an accounting and record keeping system
8. Apply for a federal employer identification number
9. File for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status
10. File for state and local tax exemption
11. Learn the laws regarding charitable solicitation
12. Apply for a nonprofit mailing permit
It may sound a little overwhelming at first, which is why it’s wise to seek out professional help. Attorneys and trained nonprofit accounting specialists can be a great resource in helping you establish your nonprofit. We cannot stress enough how important steps 6 & 7 are. Setting up your accounting and record keeping system accurately from the beginning will help your organization run smoothly and efficiently. An outsourced, experienced, nonprofit bookkeeper can get you up and running in no time, and you can be confident that you are on the right track.