You’re interested in starting a nonprofit organization. You’ve heard the benefits and you’re ready to make it happen. Congratulations! There are a few things you’ll need to know before 2022 rolls around.
In this article, we’ll outline the steps you’ll need to take to start a nonprofit organization. Let’s get started!
What Is A Non-Profit?
A non-profit is a type of organization that does not make profits for its owners. That’s the key difference between a for-profit and a non-profit. For-profits are businesses, whose purpose is to make money for their shareholders.
Non-profits, on the other hand, are typically charities or social welfare organizations. They may also be known as not-for-profit organizations or NPOs. Their goal is to serve the public interest, rather than make money.
Getting Started with it-
The FIRST Step: Identifying Your Mission And Goals
The next step is to identify your mission and goals. Some questions you may ask yourself-
- What is the non-profit going to be focused on?
- What are the specific goals you want to achieve?
This should be honed in and clear so that it can be communicated to donors, volunteers, and anyone else who may be interested in joining your organization.
The SECOND Step: Obtaining Your Tax Exemption Status
Now that you know the basics of starting a nonprofit, it’s time to obtain your tax exemption status. This is a critical step in the process, as it allows you to operate as a nonprofit organization and receive donations from the public.
There are three steps to obtaining your tax exemption status:
1. Complete IRS Form 1023, which is the application for tax-exempt status.
2. Submit the application and supporting documentation to the IRS.
3. Wait for the IRS to review your application and make a determination.
It can take up to six months for the IRS to review your application, so be patient. Once you receive your tax exemption status, you can start operating as a nonprofit organization.
The THIRD Step: Registering Your Non-Profit Organically
Ready to get your non-profit officially registered? The first step is to file a “doing business as” (DBA) notification with your county or state. It’s usually pretty easy to do this online, and it’s crucial to make sure you receive an official certification that proves you are the official representative of your organization.
Next, it’s time to register as an IRS-recognized charity with the IRS. This will require filing Form 1023, which provides financial information about your organization and its planned activities. You’ll also need to provide proof of nonprofit status, such as a certificate of incorporation from the state in which you are registering.
It may seem intimidating at first, but don’t be overwhelmed! Just take it one step at a time and use all the resources available to help you along the way, such as the helpful articles on our site or a reliable attorney who specializes in filing for non-profit organizations.
The FOURTH Step: Build A Strong Board Of Directors
When setting up a non-profit organization, one of the most important steps is building a strong board of directors. This group of individuals should have the experience and knowledge needed to guide the growth and development of your non-profit.
An ideal board member should understand the dynamics of the organization and be able to help set clear goals, as well as construct policies that move the organization forward. Additionally, having a diverse board is key—it not only brings different perspectives to the table but also helps ensure that all voices are heard.
Perhaps most importantly, make sure you have people with specific skills on your board: finance, fundraising, public relations and legal advisors will each come in handy throughout the lifecycle of your non-profit organization. With this in mind, it might take some time to find and recruit top-notch people for your board, but this step is well worth it in order to guarantee success.
The FIFTH Step: Adopting By-Laws And Policies
Next up, adopting by-laws and policies is essential for every non-profit organization. Doing so helps to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page regarding how they can make decisions, how they handle their money, and what their expectations are of each other. As such, it’s important to spend some time drafting these documents in order to protect the non-profit in the long run.
By-laws lay out foundational elements such as how often they’ll meet as a board and other such rules. Policies might focus on issues like nondiscrimination, equal employment opportunity, financial and accounting procedures, conflicts of interest and fundraising. They should also include procedures for setting grants and awards. Ideally, these documents should strive to give maximum flexibility while staying within the confines of applicable laws.
Once these documents have been drafted and approved by the board of directors (or whatever governing body the non-profit has established), they must be filed with your local government office in order to be legally valid.
The LAST Step: You Need Microsoft 365 Non-Profit Portal
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics of non-profit organizations and have decided to go ahead with the process of setting up one, your next step is to create an online Microsoft 365 nonprofit portal.
This can be done by developing a website or application that speaks to your mission, mission statement, and goals; allows people to donate or become members; and allows potential stakeholders to contact you. An online Microsoft 365 nonprofit portal is not only beneficial for public outreach but also helps you in connecting with potential donors on a larger scale.
Creating a website or application requires researching the different web service providers, coding languages, and other technical aspects for hosting websites/applications. If you don’t want to take on this task yourself, there are plenty of full-service agencies/consultants who will assist you in getting started with your portal.
The main takeaways here are that having an online Microsoft 365 nonprofit portal is essential for any non-profit organization, and there are many options available for how to create it—whether it’s through coding by yourself or using the services of others.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when starting a non-profit, from your mission and vision to the practicalities of running the organization. But with careful planning and a clear understanding of the process, you can set your non-profit up for success in 2022.
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