Although our work at GiveGab primarily involves helping already established nonprofits become online fundraising champions, we also get our fair share of people who ask us:

“How can I start my own nonprofit organization??” 

We won’t claim to be experts in this area, but we’ll provide you with some valuable resources to help get your questions answered!

There are some general guidelines of the most basic things you’ll need in order to start your own nonprofit, but keep in mind that there’s a lot more to consider…  

Starting Your Own Nonprofit: The Basics

  1. Do research on what it takes to start and run a nonprofit
  2. Develop a support system and infrastructure to ensure successful execution
  3. Establish yourself as a corporation and file state forms  
  4. File for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status
  5. Follow all rules for ongoing compliance

Step number one, doing your research, is the most essential step because what you’ll learn about launching a nonprofit organization will ultimately inform your decisions moving forward.  Passion for your nonprofit’s mission is also essential from the very beginning – because it’s the single thing that will keep you motivated.  

The following are 10 of the top resources for starting your own nonprofit! 

Starting a Nonprofit – Top 10 Resources

1. How to Start a Nonprofit

2.  Nonprofit Startup Resources by State

3.  Starting a Nonprofit Organization

4.  City of Lighting Consulting

5. Foundation Center 5013c.org

6. How do I start a Nonprofit Organization?

7.  7 Steps to Starting a Nonprofit

8. Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Nonprofit in the U.S.

9. How to Form Your Own Nonprofit:  A 50 State Guide

10. The Checklist Project of The Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York


Starting and managing a nonprofit will likely be one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors you’ll ever pursue!
Best wishes from all of us here at GiveGab 🙂

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