Choosing your favorite nonprofit to support, or creating a new one that helps out a particular cause, provide financial relief for those in need. Launching a new nonprofit organization in your local area is an admirable position to take—one that will create a "buzz," and encourage members of your community to collaborate and help fund a good cause. If there doesn't appear to be a nonprofit in your local area, then establishing such a worthy organization would be an honorable action to take.
Contact an attorney for assistance with legal paperwork that's needed for all nonprofits who desire to solicit funds. Follow the requirements for a 501(c) 3 designation through the IRS website. This type of business structure is exclusively for a nonprofit entity, which allows for donations from the public without being taxed. The process requires you to incorporate your business first, then apply for the 501(c)3 status through the federal government. If you're not well educated in law, then seeking out an attorney for this process would be best.
Define your organization's mission statement, and clearly write it out in a detailed business plan. Explore the purpose of your fund, what its ultimate mission will be, and how it will be sought out. Raise these questions and write knowledgeable organizational descriptions for banking and funding purposes.
Complete incorporation papers on your own or with the assistance of an attorney. The IRS can be a solid source of knowledge for completing this paperwork, so don't hesitate to make a phone call to them with questions and concerns. As a nonprofit corporation, you will become tax exempt, which is a sincere advantage to a nonprofit trying to raise funds for a cause. Making purchases without being taxed can save you a lot of money over a year's time which can be used towards the betterment of your mission. If you choose to fill out the forms yourself, be concise in your mission and clearly write or print out each officer's name and address on the forms. Mail to the IRS.
Create a board of directors. This is the part of a nonprofit entity which would include a secretary, a president, a treasurer other officers as you deem necessary. The board has a yearly requirement for mandatory meetings that are set up through your by-laws, and with the help of government standards. Each board member has a specific job in the nonprofit and has a "voice" in deciding rules and regulations of the nonprofit.
Open a commercial bank account after you receive your Federal and State Tax ID designations. Decide upon which board members will be allowed to "sign on" the bank account. Fill out signature cards at the bank. Order organization checks and have them mailed to the secretary of your board.
Create by-laws and brainstorm fund-raising efforts to create start-up funds for your organization. Use the local community as a source for getting the word out. Different kinds of media are conducive to the welfare of the fund. Utilize newspapers, local TV stations, and support networks. Connect with online groups that are specifically related to your cause.
Consult with a business attorney if you're apprehensive about completing the nonprofit process on your own.
- public funding issues image by Kelly Young from Fotolia.com