FundraisingIP.com fundraising planners and checklists:
Forming A Non-Profit
Use this checklist as a starting guide to help you set up and file for legal recognition as a non-profit organization. This list does not replace legal advice and each state might have special requirements that need to be met. It is meant as a starting point and to get you ready for filing the official papers. Check off each item when completed.
Steps To Creating A Non-Profit:
- Set goals for your non-profit. Clearly defined goals will be used to guide non-profit activities and will serve as an outline for the next step.
- Write a mission statement. A mission statement will be needed for some documents and applications and will also be used as an organizational guide.
- Form a Board of Directors. This is needed to apply for non-profit (501(c)(3) status
- Elect officers for the Board of Directors
- Secure legal representation (paid or pro-bono) to answer questions and help with legal filings.
- Decide on other professional services you may need (such as the help of an accountant or CPA)
Documentation & Filing
- Obtain necessary documents and applications. Check your state website for requirements.
- Review applications and break down the tasks involved.
- Reserve the name of your non-profit group on a local and state level and also as a .org and .com.
- Decide (with the Board) whether your group should be a corporation, charitable trust, or unincorporated association. Consult legal representative as needed.
- Write Bylaws and/or Articles of Incorporation (requirements differ by state; your legal representative or application can tell you if this is needed).
- Collect all necessary documents for filing.
- Complete incorporation documents.
- File documents of incorporation.
- Write a business plan to guide group activities, including fundraising activities for your non-profi.t
- Set an organizational budget, scheduling expenditures.
- Apply for a Federal Identification Number, or EIN.
- Apply for Federal Tax Exempt Status (file 501(c)(3)).
- If required, file for state non-profit recognition.
- If required/applicable, file for state tax exemption.
(Use this space for notes and questions you want to research or ask a professional.)
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