If you live to inspire and your passion is to give back to the world and make a big difference by touching lives, then, getting started with your own nonprofit is the most exciting entrepreneurial choice that you’ve got. But, before you start with your philanthropy, there are several things that you need to consider to ensure that you are on the right track.

For the past few years, the number of non-profits has seen a dramatic proliferation. Sadly, not everyone who wants to start a nonprofit took the time to think about their idea. Of course, you do not want to commit the huge mistake of jumping unaware into the nonprofit arena. Just like in any kind of venture, you need to think hard about your best strategy and act later accordingly.

Just so you know, starting an NPO or nonprofit organization is pretty much the same with starting any type of business. Together with your commitment, you will also need to have a niche, a clear objective and a sound and acceptable business plan that you can present to potential donors.

You will also need to have a full understanding on how you should be structuring your nonprofit, as well as the tax exemptions that you can be qualified for and the methods that you will use to obtain grants from the government.

To make the most out of your philanthropy, here is a basic checklist that you can follow for starting your own nonprofit organization.

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With more than 1.4 million all over the world, will you be able to claim that your chosen niche for your NPO is unique and one of a kind? You have to take the time to conduct a market research so that you can best identify the niche that you choose. This will also help you determine whether the market needs such a nonprofit at this point in time.

Come Up with a Business Plan

As stated earlier, nonprofits are just another version of a business. This is the reason why you also need to write a business plan and make sure that it will be properly followed and implemented. A business plan is vital to procure funding for your nonprofit from the government and the donors. This will also help a lot when it comes to finding board members and recruiting volunteers.

Incorporate Your Nonprofit

Starting your nonprofit will require some paperwork. However, for most groups, the wonderful benefits of a nonprofit status, like the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status can outweigh all the initial complications.

Getting a nonprofit incorporated is also the same with creating a typical corporation but this time, you will need to take several steps for application for a tax-exempt status with the IRS as well as their tax division in your state.

Below are the essential steps that you have to keep in mind so that you can incorporate your nonprofit:

  • Select a business name – When choosing a name for your nonprofit, you also need to be familiar with the different laws that apply on your state when it comes to naming nonprofits.
  • File the incorporation paperwork – The next step that you should take is to file your formal paperwork or the articles of incorporation. You will also need to pay a filing fee to your respective state. The said “articles” will contain the fundamental structural information like the name of your nonprofit, its registered address and agent and the membership structure of the corporation, if any.
  • Apply for a nonprofit state and federal tax exemptions – After receiving a copy of the article of incorporation from the state, you will now be ready for submitting your application to the IRS so that you can get a federal nonprofit status as a 501(c)(3) organization. It is recommended that you file in a period of 27 months after the date of incorporation.
  • Come up with corporate bylaws – These will serve as your nonprofit’s operating rules.
  • Appoint the initial directors and set the first board meeting – There are several states that will require the appointment of directors prior to the filing of the articles of incorporation.
  • Get the necessary permits and licenses –You can conduct a quick search online to know the licenses and permits that your nonprofit will need for it to operate legally.

Start Your Fundraising

Once you have officially established your nonprofit, your next concern will be the bread and butter of the organization and this will be none other than fundraising. Although the individual donors are usually the biggest contributors to most nonprofits, state, federal and local governments typically offer programs, loans and grants for the purpose of funding philanthropy projects of nonprofits.

Extend a Helping Hand Through a Nonprofit Organization

Starting your own nonprofit organization instead of a for-profit business will be able to give you that deep and personal satisfaction because you know that you are doing something good not just for yourself but for the world as a whole. Goals like taking care of your family members and building a retirement are the most typical considerations when you start a brand new business and these by themselves are noble. However, a nonprofit can allow you to touch exponentially the lives of more people and at the same time, you can still accommodate a comfortable lifestyle for you and your own family.

By starting a nonprofit, you get to use your education, experience and business talent for the good of the entire humanity and the natural word. It is a unique kind of purpose drive experience that will yield intangible rewards which you will discover are much more valuable than any amount of money or wealth in this world. Make sure that you keep in mind all the tips mentioned above and you will be surely on your way to starting a big move for philanthropy that can contribute to the betterment of the entire planet and bring wonderful changes in more ways than one.