Checklist for Setting up a Non Profit Startup

Starting a nonprofit is a great cause, as you are giving back to the community which ultimately brings an improvement in their lives. It may help someone with their medical treatment who can’t afford, food for the hungry, clothes to homeless people, even helping a homeless person build his own house, or providing an opportunity to help others earn their livelihoods. You may check this non profit organizations list to see what is already being done and what is missing.

This article will be answering queries related to:

  • How to start a nonprofit organization with no money?
  • How much does it cost to start a nonprofit organization?
  • How to start a nonprofit organization for dummies?
  • Starting a nonprofit organization checklist
  • How to start a nonprofit organization for youth?
  • Nonprofit startup ideas
  • Non profit start up checklist
  • Nonprofit tech startups
  • Starting your own non profit organization
  • Charitable startups
  • Nonprofit startup costs

Well, let me start with the fact that any of the noble causes mentioned in the beginning of this article cannot be fulfilled alone and so you need people like you to be on the same page and so you need to setup a nonprofit organization. I am sure, you are not short of nonprofit ideas, but just in case, if you are undecided, make sure to check within your local community and find what people need more desperately and that can be a perfect nonprofit startup idea for you.

After having a charitable startup idea that how you will help people, you should consider this checklist that highlights steps you need to fulfill in order to let your nonprofit startup operate in a legitimate way.

To be very honest, setting up a nonprofit is very much similar to setting up a for-profit business, but there are a few differences that you should be aware of.

Let’s get started with the checklist items.

1- Gather Knowledge about How Nonprofits Work: Gathering knowledge means to understand and analyze how your unique idea about helping the community will serve its purpose. The data required can be gathered from individual surveys and from other different sources who are already in this field. Be confident that the idea you have will serve its purpose, and you will not back out. Also, check these areas in details”

  • What are your sources of finance? You may look for crowdfunding as a major source of funding or reach big investors in the relevant fields, i.e. reaching out Nestle Water for a clean water supply.
  • How will you bring people to finance your idea? Remember, that charity is not all about money and you can start a nonprofit without money as well, i.e. you may start a free education startup whereby you tech people yourself and as the organization grows, more volunteers join. So, take all these considerations.
  • Is the finance reliable enough to continue your program up to years or months? Yes, you may not need a huge amount of investment to start a nonprofit, but still there are some basic expenses to be met, i.e. registration costs, running costs etc.

2- Register Your Nonprofit: After having a well-thought business plan for your nonprofits, the next step is to register the business. The process of registering a nonprofit organization is almost same as of registering a for-profit business, but the non-profit concerns are exempted from taxes.

By preparing the article of incorporation and filing all the documents required by your state where you want to operate and submitting all those documents in Secretary of State or Attorney General Office, you complete the process. The required documents may vary state to state, but in general, you are required to submit following items:

  • Name of the Organization
  • Type of the Organization
  • Date of incorporation
  • Board of Directors their names and signatures
  • Office address of organization
  • Number of employees
  • Members of organization
  • Roles of members

4- Define Mission and Vision of your Organization: The mission and vision reflect your organization beliefs and values. The mission and vision should be in clear and meaningful and should serve a specific purpose. It is important to state a mission and vision statement because, without it, your organization cannot move in the right direction.

5- Develop Organization Laws and Policies: You must develop set of rules and regulation that define how your organization will be managed. To implement rules and regulation you should develop policies and procedures. And a hierarchy under which all those procedures will be governed.

6- Apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN) and open a Bank for Transaction. The EIN can be obtained from internal revenue Service (IRS) of resident state, the IRS rules and regulation are applied according to state. After you have acquired the EIN number now you can open a bank account in any suitable bank for cash and fund transactions. That bank account will help you obtain cash easily for the smooth running of your organization.

7- Apply for Tax-Exemption and Follow Non-Profit Regulation: You should apply for tax-exemption in Internal Revenue Service and fill multiple page documents required by the department of revenue. All the documents should be properly filled, you might need expert’s assistance for that. After that, you have to follow rule and regulation mentioned by the non-profit organization for commence your work.

8- Rent an Office Space and Buy Office Equipment: After completing all legal requirements now you have to look for an office space, from where you will operate your nonprofit organization. It is important to have an office where people could visit and get knowledge about your work. After renting an office space you have to buy office equipment. In case if you are operating it from a home office, check the zoning laws of your state for operating home offices.

9- Hire Employees and Develop a Payroll System: Hire employees who will work under supervision to achieve organization goals and objective i.e. the paid staff who will contribute their time in serving the community and managing activates related to achievement of goals. Then you have to establish a payroll system according to which they will be paid.

 

The Bottom Line:

Setting up a nonprofit organization is not too different than that of setting up a for-profit business, so you may feel that it’s a tiring process to get your nonprofit registered and start operations. But, at the end when you start operating a legitimate nonprofit startup, you are already doing great by aiming to bring positive change in some people’s lives.

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