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Starting a 501c3

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Starting a 501c3

With All The Need In The World, Why Isn’t Everyone Starting a 501c3?

Have you ever wondered why more people aren’t starting a 501c3? Since nonprofits are many times the entities in the world that do the greatest good, why are not more people involved with them? Many times when you hear a heartfelt story of something good that happened in the world, chances are a nonprofit is behind it. Then, why don’t more people begin starting a 501c3 instead of working in the profit sector? Read on and I will share the reason.

Thousand around the world have great ideas and passion to do nonprofit work but many find that starting a 501c3 or finding a job in existing nonprofit is challenging. Finding work in existing nonprofits can be challenging simply because many nonprofits are underfunded. Those starting a 501c3 of their own are suddenly faced with three challenges that seem to dash their dreams. The biggest challenge is starting a 501c3 in an affordable manner, then learning to fund the nonprofit with a sustainable donor base, and gaining the knowledge for the continued successful operation of the nonprofit.

Starting a 501c3 Can Be Daunting

Starting a 501c3 from scratch can be a daunting task. In addition, information guiding an individual through the creation of a nonprofit is scarce. For many years after starting a nonprofit myself and having great success running it, friends, family and others repeatedly asked me for advice on how they too could easily start a nonprofit and and run it successfully.

I have concluded from years of helping individuals start a 501c3 of their own that many times the challenge of starting a 501c3 proves to be too difficult. Thus, fewer people start nonprofits simply because of the lack of help. That is a tragedy since the amount of work that is nonprofit related continues to grow at an alarming rate. Now more than ever are those drawn to nonprofit work needed.

Many become discouraged to quickly. From my own personal experience, when I tried to create anything worthwhile, I have been faced with challenges. I viewed the challenges as fuel to spur me on to success. Now when looking back at the challenges, at the good they created, they serve as constant reminders to never give up.

If something is important enough then nothing will deter a person’s drive to succeed. Given the choice of creating something that is basically meaningless but yet easy to create, or starting a 501c3 that changes the world and is a monumental task, I will choose the latter every time.

Don’t Lose Heart Starting a 501c3

Perhaps a fear of failure plague many who begin starting a 501c3 and are faced with challenges or influenced by non-supportive friends or colleagues. Disregard others if you want to change the world to be a better place. If you are one who is inspired to change the world through nonprofit work, I bid you join us in the quest. Nothing will thrill your soul more than helping those who cannot help themselves. There is quick and easy help in starting a 501c3 here on this web site I would enjoy helping you in starting a 501c3 that changes the world.

The rest of this page below is dedicated to those who are interested in starting a 501c3 through Independent 501c3 paperwork and filing without help of the bundle. If you have determined that you would like Simple Nonprofit’s help starting a 501c3 with Fiscal Sponsorship go back to the top of this page and download the Simple Nonprofit Starter Bundle. Otherwise, follow the steps below to starting a 501c3 by setting up an Independent Nonprofit.

Steps to Starting a 501c3 with Independent 501c3 Status


Determine whether you are going to set up an Independent 501c3 or a Fiscally Sponsored Nonprofit

There is two basic ways when starting a 501c3 and before beginning you will need to choose a path. This article “Starting a Nonprofit on this site will give you a quick list of all the things you will need to do in setting up each. If you would like to learn more about setting up a Fiscally Sponsored nonprofit you can find a great more information in the navigation above. If you have decided you will be starting a 501c3 through the independent route follow the directions below.

Steps to Starting a 501c3 with Independent 501c3 Status

Steps to Starting a 501c3 that Is an Independent 501c3

1Create and File Your Articles of Incorporation

Creating and filing the Articles of Incorporation can be as simple as choosing a name, filling in a few fields online form and submitting the form with the filing fee. The most you will have to do if your state does not provide an online form is to create the Articles of Incorporation and then mail them along with the filing fee or delivering them by hand if you want your entity created the same day.

To find your Corporation Division in your state just go to here and find your state in the list. Go here,,id=129028,00.html to find your State Corporation Division

Then click the link that says “State Nonprofit Corporation Filings”

You can draft Articles of Incorporation by using these examples


2Apply for A Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Go here to get the form to fill out to apply for an EIN

You can also read this page to understand the EIN and how to use it, Publication 1635,Understanding Your EIN

3Set Up Your Bank Account

Once your Articles of Incorporation are filed and your Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned, you can take a copy of those to your local bank and open a bank account.


Once you have Articles of Incorporation filed and an EIN, your entity is legal as a corporation.
CAUTION: There is a lot more you will need to do to establish the tax-exempt status but you have started a nonprofit in those few steps.

Other Key Documents

Once you get your Article of Incorporation filed, your EIN, and bank account established you are only a portion of the way to starting a 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit. You will want to work on Bylaws and eventually fill out and file the IRS 1023 form which will give your nonprofit tax exempt status. You can use the sample document below to create nonprofit bylaws.

Create Bylaws

Go here to find a copy of sample bylaws.

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