How To Start A 501C3

BDJ Non-Profit Solutions: How to Start a 501c3

A 501c3 is a tax-exempt organization that can receive tax-deductible contributions. Are you wondering how to get a 501c3? It takes some preparation and a clear plan. And keep in mind that the organization must not benefit private interests. If you want to learn how to start a 501c3, then here's a simple guide that covers the basics.


First, make sure that you understand your purpose. There are a wide variety of clubs, groups, and organizations that can potentially become a nonprofit. If you're thinking about how to get a 501c3, the first step is to define the organization and determine if it qualifies.


Here are a few examples of a 501c3:


- Churches and other religious institutions
- Charities such as Goodwill, United Way, and Salvation Army,
- Boys and Girl Scouts
- Nonprofit schools
- Veterans' services
- Cultural groups


Next, consider the who, what, where, why, and how of it as you craft your mission statement. Now, you must decide if the legal structure for the organization is a trust, corporation, or association. Consider incorporation. The organization must register with the IRS, use specific language, and follow special guidelines and filing dates. However, most nonprofits find it's worth it because it protects members from liability if the corporation incurs debt. What's more, many grants are only available to nonprofits that are incorporated. Once you have all your ducks in a row, it's time to go to the IRS website and apply for the exemption. Remember that your organization must have an exempt purpose.


There is a lot to take care of and it's worth the effort. Maybe you feel like you need more information and some help along the way. 

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