How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

It always starts with an idea: you want to solve a problem in your community, conduct research into a disease, or raise awareness of an important issue.

As the solution unfolds, you realize you need to raise funds to turn that dream into a reality. At this point, many visionaries jump to filing for tax-exempt status.

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Before you take another step toward forming a non-profit organization, stop.

We’ve set up hundreds of non-profit organizations, seeing many succeed while others failed. We put together a guide to five things all non-profit founders should do before filling out any paperwork to help you get started on the path to success.

Once you’ve done your research and created a strong, workable plan for your non-profit organization, you’re ready to form a legal entity and apply for tax-exempt status.


  • Five things to do before you form the entity
  • How to research the viability of your idea
  • What goes into a non-profit business plan
  • What to look for when building a board of directors
  • And much more!

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