Want to Start a Nonprofit?

Starting a nonprofit to serve others is not a choice to be taken lightly. It doesn’t happen without a passion for helping others. It shouldn’t happen without a lot of planning and attention to detail. The first thing one should do after deciding to act on that passion is finding out if there is really a need within the community. To determine this need, you need to see if there is another organization within the community that currently provides a service to meet this need. If there is, then you should consider finding a way to partner or work with them to carry out your passion. Overlap of organizations can sometimes cause confusion within the community and even compromise the ability to serve the most people. We receive multiple requests on a weekly basis from people in our community on how to start a nonprofit. The following are informational tools and resources on how to start a nonprofit.

  1. Go to the following nonprofit assessment at Foundation Center, complete it and print out the results: http://npstartup.foundationcenter.org
  2. Complete the following Webinars from Foundation Center and print proof of completion:
    1. http://grantspace.org/tools/multimedia/webinars/legal-essentials-of-starting-a-nonprofit-organization-part-1-of-the-foundation-center-s-webinar-series-for-nonprofit-startup-organizations
    2. http://grantspace.org/tools/multimedia/webinars/board-and-governance-issues-for-startup-organizations-part-2-of-the-foundation-center-s-webinar-series-for-nonprofit-startup-organizations
    3. http://grantspace.org/tools/multimedia/webinars/defining-mission-and-vision-part-3-of-the-foundation-center-s-webinar-series-for-nonprofit-startup-organizations
    4. http://grantspace.org/tools/multimedia/webinars/effective-program-development-for-startup-organizations-part-4-of-the-foundation-center-s-webinar-series-for-nonprofit-startup-organizations
    5. http://grantspace.org/tools/multimedia/webinars/first-fundraising-strategies-for-startup-organizations-part-5-of-the-foundation-center-s-webinar-series-for-nonprofit-startup-organizations
    6. http://grantspace.org/tools/multimedia/webinars/before-you-seek-a-grant
  3. Conduct a community needs assessment. Here is a great guide to assist you: http://strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/guidebooks/Community_Assessment.pdf

If after going through all of the above assessments and webinars you feel that you would like to continue, we ask that you work through the following checklist of items. We have provided valuable links to help you with this:

  1. Develop vision and mission statements for your organization: http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#3Develop
  2. Select individuals to serve on your Board of Directors: http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#2Select
  3. Develop a fundraising plan: http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#12Fundraising
  4. While you can do several of the following items on your own, we suggest you seek advice and the assistance from a local Attorney who specializes in helping people get nonprofit agencies off the ground. They will help you establish your By Laws, Board Policies, filing your incorporation papers, filing for your EIN number, filing for your tax exempt status and registering with Georgia and other states that you will be soliciting donations from. Here are some links that help explain these areas:
    1. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#4Bylaws
    2. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#1File
    3. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#5EIN
    4. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#FileFederal
    5. http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/charities and the following is a great article on this topic: https://www.pbpatl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Registering-for-Charitable-Solictiaton-in-GA-article-March-2017.pdf
  5. Once you have all of the pieces in place, you will need to do the following BEFORE you launch your fundraising and providing services:
    1. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#6Bank
    2. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#9Office
    3. http://grantspace.org/training/self-paced-elearning/establishing-a-nonprofit-organization-tutorial#11Payroll
    4. Work with an insurance provider who has experience with nonprofit agencies. Your organization is going to need:
      • Directors and Officers Insurance
      • Liability Insurance that provides protections for things like (but not limited to): property, employment practices, crime, abuse and molestation, data and network compromise)
      • Workers Compensation
      • Events
    5. Find a CPA that is has experiencing working with nonprofit agencies. You will need this individual or organization to help you define your policies and procedures around how to handle accounting. They will also help you select the proper tools to track your data such as donors, expenditures, volunteer hours, in kind donations, etc. These items will also become a part of your policies and procedures manuals.
    6. Policies and Procedures manuals that include (but not limited to): how your organization operates including how monies and expenditures are handled, hiring practices, volunteer and board member acquisition including applications and background checks for all three, training for your volunteers, employees and board members, etc.

If you have completed all of these steps and would still like to schedule an appointment, please contact our offices at 770-253-1833. We will ask you to provide proof of completion before scheduling.