Becoming a 501(c)(3)

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit is an organization that has applied and been approved for IRS recognition as a tax-exempt organization. Nonprofits rely on their 501(c)(3) status to solicit grants, donations, and other funds. Nonprofit status helps organizations raise money because donors may be able to deduct contributions on their own taxes. Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helps organizations by allowing them to solicit tax-exempt funds legally from donors. The steps that go into starting a 501(c)(3) include choosing a name for your nonprofit, writing your purpose statement and bylaws, recruiting and establishing a board of directors, filing your articles of incorporation, applying for federal tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3), and filing for state recognition of tax exemption.

The 501(c)3 process is fairly straightforward and can be started by using form 1023EZ, which can be done online. Registration with the secretary of state is also required to ensure designation as a not-for-profit entity. For potential registration assistance, contact Lawyers for Good Government.