11 Steps to Starting a Nonprofit Organization
Share this article:
What Makes a Nonprofit a Nonprofit?
How Do Nonprofits Work?
Types of Nonprofits
The most common type of 501(c) May not participate in political campaigns Unrelated business activities (like selling merchandise or renting the organization's space) are subject to limitations Exempt from paying federal income tax
Used by civic leagues and social welfare organizations May participate in political campaigns and political lobbying Donations to the organization are not tax-deductible Exempt from paying federal income tax
Used by social and recreation clubs Primarily funded by membership fees and dues May receive up to 35% of funding from nonmembers Exempt from paying federal income tax
11 Steps to Starting a Nonprofit
1. Research Need
2. Choose a Name
3. Create a Detailed Business Plan
Executive Summary This succinctly explains the change you hope to make. Products, Programs, and Services This section sets out the need you are addressing and all of the different ways you will address it. Operations This is where you detail what tpye of nonprofit you are, who will be on your team, and where you will operate. Marketing This explains how you’ll get the word out about your organization and its work. Finances This outlines exactly where your funding will come from, as well as how your organization will spend those funds.
4. Recruit Your Board of Directors
5. Secure Startup Funding
6. Incorporate Your Nonprofit
7. File for Tax-Exempt Status
8. Hire Employees
Events manager If you plan on having frequent events or large scale conferences to further your cause, then you may need to have a dedicated events manager. Membership manager This is someone who will keep track of membership information and actively recruit and maintain current membership numbers. Fundraising manager Organizing fundraising activities and applying for government grants can be a full-time job. If your nonprofit is going to receive income through fundraising activities, then a fundraising manager is a must. Communications manager Whether you plan to communicate through social media, newsletters, or speaking events, a communications specialist can ensure the tone and message is appropriate for your nonprofit’s mission.
9. Automate with Software
10. Get the Word Out
Emailing all of your contacts (and asking them to spread the word with their contacts) Hosting an open house event Connecting with similar organizations in other cities Posting industry-related blog posts Joining online and offline communities where your target market is
11. Maintain Your Tax-exempt Status
How Long Does It Take to Create a Nonprofit?
Starting Nonprofits vs Small Businesses
3 Small Business Loan Tips
Generally, it can be easier for entrepreneurs starting out to qualify for a loan from an online lender than from a traditional lender. Lantern by SoFi’s single application makes it easy to find and compare small business loan offers from multiple lenders. If you’re launching a new business or your business is young, lenders will consider your personal credit score. Eventually, though, you’ll want to establish your business credit. SBA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and typically offer favorable terms. They can also have more complicated applications and requirements than non-SBA business loans.
Frequently Asked Questions
About the Author
Share this article: