Establishing a non-profit requires two stages:
- You will need to file "articles of incorporation" with the appropriate agency in your state, generally the Secretary of State.
- You will have to file for "federal income tax exemption" with the Internal Revenue Service.
Be aware that this process may require four to six months to complete.
How to start a non-profit in 12 easy steps. The Foundation Center identifies these twelve steps as something you will need to complete in order to start your non-profit organization:
- File the certificate of incorporation
- Select individuals to serve on the board of directors
- Develop vision and mission statements
- Establish bylaws and board policies
- Obtain an employer identification number (EIN)
- Open a bank account and establish check signing procedures
- File for federal tax exemption
- Follow state and local nonprofit regulations
- Find office space and obtain office equipment
- Recruit staff and prepare a personnel manual
- Establish a payroll system and procure necessary insurance coverage
- Develop an overall fundraising plan
You may also want to consult these titles in the Block Business and Career Center:
How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, by Anthony Mancuso (2007)
Mancuso, an attorney and corporations expert, explains how to form and operate a tax-exempt corporation in every state, from completing an IRS tax-exemption application and preparing articles of incorporation to filling in minutes of the organizational meeting. The seventh edition is updated to provide the latest federal and state rules. It also provides the latest forms, including the new IRS form 1023. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, by Mark Warda (2002)
With over a million active organizations, America has the most advanced system of nonprofits in the world. From social clubs to cancer research laboratories, these groups show the generosity and willingness of Americans to work together for the common good. This new edition addresses recent changes in both federal and state laws regarding tax exemptions. This book includes all of the forms and instructions needed to form a nonprofit corporation, state-by-state laws, appendices with additional resources, a complete index and a thorough glossary. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
For additional information, contact an H&R Block Business & Career Center librarian by phone, 816.701.3717, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.