10-Step Guide to starting a Non-profit Organization
A non-profit organization is a business organization that provides services without any incentive to make money. Starting a non-profit organization requires hard work, patience, and rational thinking. Establishing such an organization is a thoughtful way to contribute to your community or society. Therefore, it is always integral to understand whether starting a non-profit organization is right for you and if you are ready to start a non-profit organization.
To make your search and research easier, here’s a 10-step guide to starting a non-profit organization:
Conduct an Analysis
Survey what other organizations in your community are doing; if you choose to execute a similar plan, your community may not support you. Assess the current needs of your community and seek a method by which you can best help your community. Analyze if your services or business can be termed as a non-profit organization and check the availability of the grants your organization would be entitled to.
Set a Strong Foundation
Develop a plan and purpose. Identify the purpose of your organization and gauge your target audience. Identify the people who would benefit from your purpose and organization and implement a plan that would work the best for your target audience. Lay down a plan to establish a framework to follow and outline the project's future.
Choose your team
A non-profit organization requires a great deal of dedication and commitment. To start a non-profit organization, you must find like-minded people to support your cause. Recruitment is an integral part of this process. Your team will have to study the legal responsibilities you are supposed to fulfill. Finally, train, evaluate, and orient all your employees before they begin working for your cause.
Since you are starting a non-profit organization, you will require resources from external parties. You will need funding, sponsors, and manpower. Funding can be tricky as you would have to find sponsors who resonate with your purpose. You will also have to search for resources specific to your location. You must also study the government funding your organization is eligible for before establishing your non-profit organization.
Incorporate your Non-Profit
You can start by referring to the State-wise Non-profit Resources by Candid Learning. It is essential to incorporate your non-profit as a formal structure that will provide your services with higher validity. Further, this will decrease the liabilities of the employer and the employees. The IRS requires organizations to provide documents and policies that are associated with the non-profit organization.
File for Tax-Exempt Status
Public charitable organizations are the largest type of 501(c)(3), and there are about 1 million registered in the US. First, apply for the tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. The user fee is about USD 275 to 600 based on the application method you choose. The Internal Revenue Service can take about 3-12 months to respond.
Register with the State Agency
Each state has an office stated to overview the work of charitable organizations. In some states, organizations have to file a version of Form990 with the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, states have their reporting and renewal requirements, and Form990 shows your financial activities, directors, and governance processes, which are open to public inspection.
This includes building a network to market your organization and its purpose. Networking will also help attract donors and sponsors to invest in your non-profit organization. In addition, you can start connecting with other non-profit organizations in your area and use digital and media outlets to endorse your organization.
Create a Website
A website is essential to increase the visibility and reach of your non-profit organization. Keep the website updated with blogs, photos, and updates about the work your organization is doing. You can also put up information about upcoming events and write about the members of your non-profit organization. The website can also include contact details to help website visitors.
Set a Marketing Plan
Develop marketing strategies for your non-profit organization. Marketing is integral for organizations that need external resources, fundings, sponsors, and donors. Also, identify which marketing strategy would fit best for your cause and target audience. Devising a marketing plan is necessary to increase your reach and spread the word in the community about your purpose. Marketing is also a great strategy to educate your community about your non-profit organization.
If you're hoping to begin a non-profit organization, it is in no way a simple ordeal. Like starting a business, establishing a non-profit organization requires basic reasoning, responsibility, tolerance, and a great deal of difficult work. However, while the actual interaction can be terrifying, monotonous, and overpowering in its complexity sometimes, a deliberate bit-by-bit approach can help guarantee a good outcome.
We're aware that starting a non-profit organization takes dedication, so we applaud your commitment to give back to society. We hope this 10-step guide is helpful when you set up your non-profit organization.