How to Start a Nonprofit Organization?

How to Start a Nonprofit Organization

Are you planning to start a non-profit organization? Starting a nonprofit organization is the best way to serve your community. It provides an inspiring way to give back to your community and help those who are in need. Establishing a nonprofit organization allows you to collect funds from various sources and distribute them to less fortunate communities or other philanthropic initiatives.

Nonprofit organizations commonly serve communities or are organized around social causes. There are various tools and templates out there that can help you through this process on your own, but you’d be taking a risk not getting professional legal advice to make sure that you comply with your state’s nonprofit law.

If you want to start a non-profit organization, it is important to understand all of the steps involved in this process before moving forward. Growing and sustaining a nonprofit may take years of effort and a great determination to work. In this article, you will learn how to form a nonprofit organization. Here is a detailed guide containing We provide you a detailed guide containing the key steps you need to take to start a nonprofit organization in a systematic and organized way.

Step 1: Conduct analysis

Start a Nonprofit Organization Conduct analysis

Before starting your nonprofit organization, you must have a clear concept in mind. This means determining who you’ll serve and what you’re nonprofit is going to provide. Also, you need to find population data that shows a need for your services, and explain how they need of people is not being met. Doing a bit of research will help you understand the main concept and gain some ideas on how to structure your organization.

Throughout the research process, be sure to collect all of the qualitative and quantitative data you accumulate. To start your new nonprofit organization, try to work on which you will be investing your time and capital in addressing your existing needs.  Make sure before you launch into your plans and operations, you have to know that what you’re doing is an effective way to address the issue you have identified.

Step 2: Clarify Your Purpose

If you want potential to support you must have a clear idea of what you want to do and how you want to do it. Give your community a clear reason to volunteer to donate to your organization. Once your board of directors is assembled, you will most likely have productive conversations and wise input from your team that will help you reach your goal. There are unlimited resources that will explain how to start a foundation and what fees that go along with that process.

Step 3: Build a Solid Foundation

Start a Nonprofit Organization Foundation

Your nonprofit organization needs to be built on a solid foundation and clarity. A clear vision, mission, and value make for a strong and well-run organization. Your vision is what you want to see in the world and your mission is how your organization will make that happen. The mission can change over time, but let your readers know what you think your purpose is. 

Step 4: Choose a name for your nonprofit organization

Choosing a name for your nonprofit can be interesting but also difficult. You may face difficulty thinking of a name or, if you do have one in mind, you might find that a similarly named association already exists. You can take help from Google to gain some ideas. This will make it easier to establish the name of your organization and choose a domain name for your website. The right decision will help you to influence your nonprofit’s brand for years to come, so it’s smart to take some time to think through this decision.

Step 5: Establish your mission statement

Your mission statement defines what your organization does, who it serves, and how it provides services to your chosen community. It gives the public and potential donors an idea of what your organization does. A mission statement is necessary if you want to fundraise, apply for grants, or otherwise market you’re nonprofit. A good mission statement helps to attract the right people to your organization.

Step 6:- Build Your Team 

Build Your Nonprofit Organization Team

It is an essential step for your nonprofit development process. There are many things to consider, but firstly let’s start with the basics. Initially, it is a legal requirement for each nonprofit organization to have a board of directors. Legally, you must have three board members that are President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Also, decide whether you will have a working board or a governing board. 

In the Working Board, there is no paid staff, and board members carry heavier responsibilities to make sure work gets done. Whereas governing board, you have a board of directors that oversees the operations, legality, and finances of the nonprofit organization.

Step 7:- Register your Nonprofit with your State 

You must register your nonprofit organization as a corporation with your state. The federal government will treat you as a tax-exempt organization, and your state government will address you as a corporation. Your state tax exemption can be arranged once you have your 501(c)(3) status with your state. Each state has its requirements to register the nonprofit organization as a tax-exempt nonstock corporation.

Step 8:- File for Federal 501(C)(3) Tax-exemption

Tax-exempt status is one of the biggest influencing factors to decide whether one has to go for-profit or not-for-profit. The IRS requires nonprofits organizations to file Form 1023 to obtain tax-exempt status. Always make sure to seek assistance from a trusted tax professional if you need any help. Becoming a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) comes with the following benefits: 

  • You may be exempt from paying federal and state taxes (such as sales and property taxes); and
  • Your donors could get some tax deduction for their contributions.

To submit your 1023 or 1023EZ tax form, you need to collect several documents. It became much more efficient to have a lawyer to handle the application and all of its legalities. If you want to submit form 1023-EZ, the filing fee will cost you $275. And if you apply with 1023, it costs $600. Pay online through at the time of submission.

Step 9:- Start fundraising for startup costs

Start fundraising

A fundraising plan is the best for any nonprofit. But identifying funding sources and deciding on a funding model for their organization can be one of the most challenging tasks for any non-profit professionals. A professional serves as a guide for nonprofits to strategically raise funds in an accessible, accountable way. A fundraising plan is really helpful to put our mission into action so that we can make our vision a reality.

The reason why a nonprofit organization may delay getting their 501(c)(3) status is because of the costs associated with the process. Thankfully, crowdfunding for nonprofit costs is one of the best and fastest ways to raise money for nonprofit startups. Once you’ve researched how much money you’ll need to get off the ground, then create a fundraiser by keeping that goal in mind, and begin sharing it far and wide to get charity donations.

 Step 10: Market and grow your non-profit

Every nonprofit organization is different in its way, so how you market your nonprofit is up to you. Marketing your non-profit organization begins collecting donations, distributing funds, and getting to work. Marketing also helps to host local events and raise funds. Marketing on social media generates more traffic and attracts volunteers. 

The opportunities are endless for scaling your nonprofit organization to new heights. Always share relevant content, let people know about your events, share fundraising initiatives, and direct followers to your online donation page. Make sure to collect email addresses and other relevant data properly from the beginning.

Step 11:- Ongoing Compliance

Lastly, you need to make sure that your non-profit stays in good condition. Each state has office charges which may vary from others with the oversight of charitable organizations and charitable solicitations. If you plan to solicit contributions in other states, you may need to get registered there. Prepare for annual reporting requirements and file the 990 forms annually with the IRS. Form 990 includes various fields like finances, activities, governance processes, directors, and key staff, and it is open to public inspection. 


That’s it! As seen above there are a lot of things to do to start a nonprofit organization. By following the right steps, you can establish a solid foundation for your organization and begin growing right away. As you work to get everything running, you’ll also need strategic tools to make everyday life easier, where JotForm is the most powerful tool to work. Hope this article has helped get your non-profit organization started. Thank you for reading this article.

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