As you move throughout your daily life, you find yourself yearning to help people in a bigger fashion, but you are unsure of what to do. You could volunteer with a non-profit organization, which has become more common in today’s society. But, what if you want to have a greater impact on a social problem that you are passionate about? One path is to create your non-profit organization. While the idea of founding your non-profit organization sounds exciting, it should be a decision that is made after careful consideration. With that in mind, here are some tips on achieving this incredible goal.
Find A Social Problem You Are Passionate About
Understanding what social problem you care about, and figuring out what kind of impact you can have is a crucial first step in the process. Why is this important to do right away? If you are looking to solve a social problem in your community, it is important to confirm that the need is truly there. For example, if you want to create an organization that helps pay for books in schools in your community, you should first research the need for a program like this. Are the schools in dire need of new books? Are there other programs in place that provide the schools with new textbooks? If you are tapping into an industry that is heavily influenced already, you may find yourself struggling to stay afloat.
Build A Strong Foundation
After determining what your organization’s mission will be, the next step is to help build a strong foundation for success. This step includes writing out a strong mission statement and meticulous business plan. Because a majority of non-profit organizations are tax-exempt, they are required to maintain a strong business foundation. For example, do you have any large donors in place that have committed to providing funding? If not, the business plan could require further planning. All of this is done to not only establish yourself as a non-profit organization but could reduce any stress in the future when applying for your tax-exempt status each year.
Upon establishing your business plan, you will need to find and recruit a board of directors. The board of directors will need to have the following five positions filled to be approved: president, vice president, secretary, chairperson, and co-chairperson. You will need to find members of the community who will sit on the chair each year, as the board of directors will make important decisions that affect the organization’s success.
File For 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status
Upon completing the following steps, your next, and often most time-consuming step, is filing as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which means that your non-profit organization would not be required to pay annual taxes. This remains to be one of the most important steps that an organization will need to do each year, to maintain their status. You can learn more about the exact process by visiting the application for recognition of exemption through the IRS.
While this is not a complete list of the steps you will need to take to found your non-profit organization, they can help establish a starting point. The process of becoming a non-profit organization, while long and difficult, can become one of the most exciting and rewarding things you do.