June 18, 2013

Are you ready to become a non-profit organization? (Part 2)

Virginia's non-profits meet many housing needs. Monica Jefferson continues to share insight from experience in helping organizations blossom from thought to reality in part two of this series.
Read part one

Once you have determined that you are prepared to start a non-profit organization, the following steps can aid in the organizational development process:
  1. Understanding IRS classifications for non-profits.
  2. Drafting a mission/vision statement.
  3. Identifying a board of directors.
  4. Filing the articles of incorporation.
  5. Drafting by laws and getting board approval.
  6. Developing a budget.
  7. Developing a record keeping and accounting system.
  8. Applying for a federal employer tax identification number (FEIN).
  9. Filing 501(c)3 status.
  10. Filing for state and local exemptions.
  11. Fulfilling charitable solicitation law requirements.
  12. Applying for a non-profit mailing permit.
Other important items to consider include:

  1. Securing a domain name for a website that matches the name of your proposed organization.
  2. Designing a logo and tagline that will help distinguish your organization from others and reflects the mission.
  3. Identifying potential board members. Look for individuals whose values reflect your statement of purpose. Include members of the community and business professionals; also include the community at large, not just your specific community of focus. Seek individuals who have the talent, time and strong skill sets that would best benefit the organization. Remember, the primary role of a board member is to bring valuable resources to the organization and help with governing the organization for success.  
  4. Hiring an attorney to assist with filing articles of incorporation and applying for IRS tax-exempt status.
  5. Hiring an accountant, particularly one who has experience with non-profit corporations, to set up a basic bookkeeping system for your nonprofit. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Finally, please share any other tips that can be helpful when starting a non-profit organization.

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