How to Start Your Own Non-Profit Organization

How to Start Your Own Non-Profit Organization

Starting a Non-Profit Organization is perfect for individuals who are passionate about helping others and giving back to the community. If you’re planning to establish an NPO, this article by Switch2Knowledge will help you do just that.

Develop a Mission Statement

According to Donorbox, this statement will include the founding principles of your NPO and should comprehensively answer the following three questions:
  • What is its purpose?
  • What groups will it cater to?
  • How will it help them?
Your mission statement will also serve as a guiding document for all important decisions regarding funding, hiring, promotion, and more.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan will serve as a roadmap, helping you to set and achieve goals. While your mission statement will be a part of this plan, other important aspects include:
  • Organizational Structure: This will include your internal hierarchy, starting from the board of directors, types of departments, and the number of executives needed for each.
  • Products/Services: Expand on what your NPO will be providing to its clients. For instance, if you are providing services mentioned it’s delivery methods, and benefits it’ll have on the community.

Incorporate your NPO

Incorporating your NPO will provide you with numerous benefits such as:
  • Tax Exemption: Post incorporation you’ll be given the status of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, making you exempt from paying state or federal level taxes.
  • Perpetual Existence: As your NPO will become a separate legal entity, it will continue to exist beyond the lifetime of its founders or board members.
  • Liability Protection: Lenders and creditors will only be able to use company assets and finances to recover debts. This protects your personal assets and savings from litigation.
Once incorporated, you can file a Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for tax-exempt status. Some NPOs qualify to submit a more streamlined version of the form, called a 1023-EZ. Lastly, stay up to date on how to stay legally compliant and tax exempt with the IRS’s free workshops and other resources. You should also invest in an integrated bookkeeping system for nonprofits. This will help maintaining your tax-exempt status easier.

Comply with Reporting Requirements

NPOs are expected to file some version of Form 990. The form requires you to disclose your finances, organizational practices, details about board members and staff. This information is then made public in accordance with the law.
Starting an NPO will help you bring meaningful change to your community and make a lasting positive impact. Plenty of people talk about wanting to make a difference. Sadly, few follow through on their dreams of really benefiting their community. With these tips, though, you can change countless lives for the better!
This article was contributed by Elena Stewart to switch2knowledge.   Thanks to Elena for this guest article.

About Elena Stewart:

Elena Stewart was a certified life coach specializing in the teachings of BrenĂ© Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo, through one-on-one coaching sessions and career mentoring, she help women (and men!) like yourself jumpstart their careers.  
People can visit Elena's website

Content last updated on 26th May 2022, 11:30 PM IST

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