How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in the United States
Since his law school days, Shaian Mohammadi has worked with nonprofit organizations such as the Community Law Project. Currently a Law Clerk at the Law Offices of Rafael Urena and Curtis Morrison, Shaian Mohammadi is in the process of setting up a nonprofit that will offer legal services to low income groups like new immigrants and single mothers who are typically underrepresented, as well as help with finance principles.
To start a nonprofit organization in the United States, here are five things you need to do:
1. Conduct research to ensure that the nonprofit is needed in your community. Also, make sure that your organization qualifies as a charitable cause.
2. If your nonprofit idea is viable, you need to develop a business plan that includes details about the organizational structure, services offered, the target audience, and the ways activities will be financed.
3. Incorporate your nonprofit, and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Also, you must file for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS may take three to 12 months before they get back to you on whether your nonprofit will be exempted from taxes. Make sure to continue to abide by all other state & federal laws.
4. Develop a fundraising plan. Successful nonprofits have several fundraising channels. For example, you may decide to raise money from donors, charity concerts, and government grants.
5. Put in place an effective board of directors. The board will help the nonprofit get funding and achieve its mission. The nonprofit’s first board can comprise its founders, early donors, and community members. Future board members can be elected.
*This is not legal advice or any kind of advice.