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Blog Post by Hollli Richardson of hollistics.net
The Gist on Setting Up a Nonprofit Organization
Are you inspired to serve your community and significantly impact your neighbors’ lives? Starting a nonprofit organization could be the ideal path. Launching a nonprofit is not without challenges, and keeping one running smoothly long-term is even more difficult.
However, the reward you get from contributing to a stronger community can make it all worth it. And as long as you know what you’re getting into and lay a firm foundation, you can position your organization for sustained success. Here are some steps from TCG Insurance Solutions to building a nonprofit.
Every community needs to be improved and keep improving, but what each community needs will differ depending on geographical location and socioeconomic status. Ground Works New Mexico suggests identifying a problem in your area that is underserved and then researching ways to solve the problem. For a nonprofit to operate effectively, you’ll need to solicit donors for funding and ensure your organization is something people want to support year after year.
Plan the Details
It’s essential to plan all the details of your nonprofit before launch. Start with a business plan that will outline the mission, role of boards, fundraising needs, milestones, etc. Then, you will need to establish a board of directors full of people who want to dedicate several years of service to the organization. The board of directors should then approve bylaws that will govern the nonprofit and detail things like meetings, voting, finances, and so forth.
Once established, the board will need to determine the staff and volunteers needed to run the day-to-day of the organization. Look for people who are not only passionate about the mission but also have diverse skill sets that can further the cause. Once you have the foundational pieces in place you’ll be ready to move towards a launch date.
Determine Financial Needs
All successful nonprofits have one thing in common: good financial practices. From securing funding to stellar accounting, you want to ensure the organization is putting in the time and resources necessary to raise the funds. But you’ll also need to manage the funding well.
Before you even start receiving or spending money, set up cloud-based nonprofit accounting software and familiarize yourself with the resources available through the software. Account for every dollar received and spent, and set yourself up for transparency and success.
Register and Incorporate
With your feasible nonprofit idea and the pieces in place for the organization to run effectively, Kindful.com points out that you’ll need to establish your organization on both state and federal levels. Start by incorporating your organization with the state in which your organization will principally operate by filing articles of incorporation with the state’s Secretary of State (reminder: you may need to annually recertify your organization with the state and regularly update contact information).
After you are formed with the state, obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This number will be used for many accounting matters, including payroll and filing taxes (Form 990). After you get an EIN, it’s time to file for tax exemption status with the IRS.
Depending on the type of organization you’re forming, you may be eligible to file a Form 1023-EZ, which is a simple online form. If you don’t qualify for the 1023-EZ, you’ll need to file the long-form 1023 and submit all supplemental information needed for the IRS to approve exemption status (i.e., fundraising plans, financials, conflict of interest policy, whistleblower policy, bylaws, etc.).
Marketing a nonprofit can be a challenge. On the one hand, you want to raise awareness of your cause and attract new donors. On the other hand, you may not have a lot of money to spend on marketing efforts.
One way to effectively market your nonprofit is through content marketing. This involves creating and sharing useful content that promotes your cause. For example, you could start a blog and write articles about your work, or create videos that highlight the impact of your work. By providing valuable information, you can build trust and credibility with potential donors, and ultimately make it more likely that they will support your organization.
To maximize your marketing impact, consider giving people incentives to attend your events or to donate items by offering gift card drawings for participants. This is made all the more easy and convenient with an Amazon incentives API. An incentives API in marketing enables you to create dynamic and customizable loyalty programs, which can encourage engagement. Furthermore, the automation and integration capabilities of these APIs streamline the process of managing and delivering incentives, reducing operational costs and saving time for your marketing efforts.
If you’re inspired to form a nonprofit to help with a cause that needs awareness and action, this is your time. Don’t hesitate to take the leap and get your idea off the ground. If you diligently tackle the steps necessary from the beginning and market your nonprofit, you can ensure the organization is successful for years to come. And you’ll help build a stronger community and forge a fulfilling career along the way!
TCG Insurance Solutions can help find insurance solutions tailored to your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more! 913-837-0434