Did you know that there were 1.54 million nonprofits registered with the IRS in 2016? If you want tips on starting a nonprofit, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to start a nonprofit.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
- Take Time to Research
You want to research before you write a mission statement for your nonprofit.
Check to see what other organizations exist in your community and what needs they’re filling.
It might become difficult to get donors when there’s another similar organization. A for-profit business can still succeed in a crowded marketplace.
Get the population or demographic data to show there’s a need for your services. Confirm that the demand isn’t met.
- What’s Your Idea?
Ensure your nonprofit idea is an effective way to work on an issue you’ve identified in the community.
Who is your intended population or demographic you hope to serve? Establish the needs of the people, and consider your proposed solution. Are you adding value?
How will your nonprofit complement the existing organizations? Could you collaborate with them instead of starting a new nonprofit? Don’t reinvent the wheel and waste your resources and time.
Take time going through your community and seeing what nonprofits exist. Are there nonprofits that will be in direct competition with the work you’d like to complete?
You could make a bigger impact on the people you’d like to help by partnering with an existing organization. Identify where your nonprofit will fit.
- Select a Name
You’ll need to pick a name for your nonprofit. Choose a name that’s related to the main activities of your nonprofit and that’s unique.
You’ll set the tone and influence your brand for years to come. Take time deciding on a name.
Brainstorm with your friends or team. What names sound more inspiring and memorable compared?
As you’re brainstorming, remind yourself of your mission’s primary goal. Make sure the name is easy to say and remember.
- What Is Your Nonprofit’s Purpose?
When you brainstorm your organization, you’ll want to think about how your nonprofit will fulfill a need. Know your charitable purpose. If you’re working within a unique or specific niche, write down your goal.
- What’s Your Mission Statement?
Mission statements aren’t only for big corporations. Sit down with your team or board members, and write down a mission statement.
A mission statement will refine your broader charitable purpose. You can write down the details of your goals and objectives.
Having a mission statement will help your nonprofit when you need to make decisions down the road. You can stay on course.
- Create a Business Plan
A business plan is essential for a nonprofit. All businesses will need a business plan, and even a nonprofit will need one. Use this plan to attract funding from government agencies and donors.
Your business plan can explore how you’ll meet the goals of your mission.
A well-written business plan will create a roadmap for the next five years.
No matter the size of your nonprofit, you can still make a blueprint for how you’ll run your nonprofit. Outline who handles what activities, and show how you will reach your goals.
Describe the products or services you’ll offer. Who will benefit from these services or products? How will your services and programs create a good change?
Next, explain the trends in your niche area and why your nonprofit’s services are essential. Explain how you’ll spread the message about your nonprofit and what channels you’ll use.
Outline your operational plan. What are your daily operations? What’s your organization structure, and define each role.7.
- Incorporate Your Nonprofit
You’ll want to look into incorporating your nonprofit. After you get incorporated, you’ll still need to submit a 501(c)(3) application to the IRS.
You can apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status. It’s a complicated process, but it’s worth it. Fill out the forms and submit a complete 501(c)(3) application package. There is a helpline for tax-exempt questions.
- Remain Compliant
As a nonprofit corporation, you’ll have a lot of regulations. Make sure you’re up to date with the compliance issues.
Register with the state office that regulates charitable solicitations and charitable organizations. You’ll need to file the annual reporting form with the IRS every year.
- Draft a Fundraising Plan
During the beginning stages, a fundraising plan might be premature. But you’ll want to create a plan. You can clarify what you’ll need to meet specific goals.
Try to think of potential funding sources. How will you achieve this fundraising goal?
- Draft Nonprofit Bylaws
The bylaws of your nonprofit are your organization’s guidebook. The bylaws outline how your nonprofit will run and how you organize meetings. You’ll provide details about the roles of board members. You’ll explain how the funds will get allocated.
A nonprofit’s bylaws work as your organization’s manual, helping to run things smoothly.
You could outline your organization’s purpose, meeting procedures, membership structure, and different committees.
Include staff compensation and how you’ll handle conflicts of interest. Don’t forget about outlining the board of directors’ procedures.
Learn more about furthering your ministry.
Now You Know More About Starting a Nonprofit
We hope these tips on starting a nonprofit was helpful. Now that you know more about the process sit down with your team. Draft up a mission statement, business plan, and fundraising report.
Browse our other helpful resources on business, finance, and more.