Want to Start a Nonprofit? Here’s What You’ll Need To Do

Your passion has led you to fill a need and serve others, but you’ll need to do your homework and plan properly to get your nonprofit up and running. There are many moving parts to consider, from research and funding to business development and staffing.

Here’s a guide to help you cover the essentials and finer details of starting a nonprofit organization.

Legal Requirements

You must complete legal and financial paperwork to register your nonprofit with the U.S. government, including:

  • Articles of incorporation: These documents establish your nonprofit as a legal entity. You’ll need the name and location of your nonprofit and the names and addresses of board members. After you’ve filed your articles of incorporation, you can request an employer identification number (EIN).
  • 501(c)(3) form: This portion of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code allows you to obtain corporate tax exemption status. It also lets donors claim their contributions as tax deductions.
  • Bylaws: Your nonprofit’s bylaws should include general information about your organization, the business and leadership structures, a Statement of Purpose and guidelines for meetings and procedures.

Establish Your Nonprofit Brand Identity

Branding marries your mission to a visual identity that represents what your nonprofit is and how it serves your community. It’s important to market your nonprofit brand carefully to stand out and get your message to your audience. Consider the demographics of those you wish to serve and possible donor bases to create a compelling brand that will attract support, donations, staff and volunteers.

Drive Donor Support with Your Website

A nonprofit website functions as an online hub where people go for information about your organization. It should be visually appealing, easy to navigate and provide calls-to-action that encourage people to donate, volunteer or request information. You can scale your website to your requirements with new pages, photos, event updates and blog articles to keep your volunteers and donors in the loop.

Use Social Media to Promote Your Nonprofit

Social media posts help you reach your community and provide information about events and recruitment. Focus on the social platforms that match your brand, mission and vision and provide you access to your target audience. Your profiles should be consistently branded, so you’ll need to consider how often you want to post and the human resources it will take to update your social accounts.

Manage Your Donor Database

Start your nonprofit on the right foot with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track donor information, including contact details and donation amounts. A CRM system is critical to your organization’s gift stewardship and growth and will save you time by automatically managing and organizing donor information.

Establish a Case for Support Document

A case for support document is your message to your donors encouraging them to support your organization and cause. It should be emotionally compelling to facilitate conversations with your donor base during development and after your nonprofit’s launch. You’ll need to discuss your history, explain your vision, detail your short- and long-term goals and highlight the audience you hope to serve.

MadAveCollective offers content and digital marketing services to nonprofits to help raise awareness for your cause and create a strategy for your unique goals. Contact us online to start a conversation.