There are so many people living in communities who want to give back. Some want to volunteer their services with already established organizations. But, there are some who want to start their own organizations for helping their community.
For those of you who want to take the plunge and start your own non-profit organization, here are some basic steps that you will need to follow to be successful.
Guide to your non-profit
- Research organizations similar to yours. Decide whether you can make yours stand out and be different.
- Reserve the name of your organization with your Secretary of State’s office.
- Reserve the name for your website. It should be the same or similar.
- File articles of incorporation with your Secretary of State’s office.
- Develop the board of directors and your bylaws for the organization and the board.
- Apply for exempt status with the federal government.
- Set up a bank account for the organization. It should be separate from your personal accounts.
- Develop a mission and vision statement for the organization.
- You may want to consult an attorney.
Making the decision to organize a non-profit is just as serious, important and time consuming as developing a for-profit organization. Actually they require just as much attention. They are set up similarly, with appropriate business licensing, and business plans.
Making a profit is important
Ideally, you do want your non-profit to be successful, just like a for-profit business. The title of non-profit does not mean you can’t make money. You actually can do pretty well. You will need money to provide the programs you want to help the community.
Just like a for-profit, you need to pay administration and others to help provide these services. This percentage is depending on how much you want to go toward your cause. For example, “10% of the proceeds go toward administrative cost.”
One last thing, owning a non-profit does not mean you will get everything you need for FREE! This is a huge misconception. I get inquiries about grant writing services and the first thing out of the organizer’s mouth is, “You know we are a non-profit.”
Yes, this is true. This is why you are calling me. But it doesn’t mean you can get your needed services for low cost or FREE.
Non-profit means your organization is organized for non-profit purposes. Your revenue goes to helping your target population. Receiving your 501c3 status from the IRS means they have recognized you as a non-profit organization for tax-exemption.
When you develop your non-profit organization, keep in the forefront of your mind, how you can provide a greater good for your target community. Develop a plan on how you plan to fund your program and develop a business plan and just do it.
For more detail information of setting up your non-profit organization, you may sign up for our course on: Non-Profit Organization Start-Up. Click here.
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