Considering starting a nonprofit to support a cause you are passionate about? Here is a four-step process that will help make it easier to accomplish your dream of charitable leadership.
Create your core values
Defining your mission, vision and outlining your organizational core values should be at the top of your list. The mission, vision and core values are the foundation of your organization and should influence every decision you make. This step is usually guided by what your passion is that initially drove you to start your nonprofit. Try to get feedback from potential board members or others that are close to you or the cause; this can be valuable feedback and validation that you’re on the right track.
Research costs, create a budget and start fundraising
The next step is to prepare all the costs that will be needed to start your nonprofit. Do the necessary research to help you create your budget. Crowdfunding is proven to be a fast way to raise money for nonprofit startup fees. Online fundraising can help you reach out to family and friends — domestically and internationally — who could help you raise money.
Incorporate your new nonprofit
When you are starting a nonprofit, you need to create a board of directors, bylaws and complete all the required IRS paperwork. The steps include doing your research, building your foundation, incorporation, tax-exempt status, and ongoing compliance, which are all a part of the process to incorporate the organization.
Hire professionals to do the important paperwork and filing
It’s strongly recommended to hire an attorney and a CPA to get you started. A CPA has an in-depth understanding of bookkeeping, high-level accounting and compliance reporting, and has a good sense of financial management and tax regulations. Hiring an attorney will help your nonprofit understand the internal and external guidelines as well as drafting the perfect bylaws and policies to set your organization up for success.
If you have considered starting a nonprofit, the steps above hopefully will set you up for success. Good luck and be sure to call The Cause Agency for the next important step: marketing your nonprofit.