You have a passion to inspire those around you, and you want nothing more than to give back to the world. You’ve considered starting a nonprofit to channel your passion, but are hesitant because you have no idea where to start. You know that starting a nonprofit is no easy task, but you are ready to put everything you have into it, because being able to do more for those around you is the only thing that truly matters to you. Like any other business venture, your organization will need to have a clear objective, an original, unclaimed idea, and a clear and concise business plan to present to possible donors, advises Caron Beesley, community manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration community blog.
Before you can embark on your journey of starting your nonprofit, you have to invest some time into conducting research to make sure that the marketplace can sustain another nonprofit. There are currently more than one million nonprofits operating in the United States, and many of them continually struggle to find funding in a decreasing funding pool, according to the National Council of Nonprofits. So knowing whether or not your idea for a nonprofit organization will be able to attract the donors that will be needed to keep the doors open is an important first step.
Formalizing Your Organization
Once you have done your research, and come to the conclusion that your idea for a nonprofit organization is feasible, it’s time to get to work establishing the organization. Before you can start your fundraising, it is important that you file the appropriate paperwork to make your nonprofit legal. It is only after the proper paperwork has been filed, and your organization has been formed, that you can begin the process of applying for federal tax-exempt status, according to experts at Idealist.
When you’re ready to get started, LegalZoom can help your nonprofit organization with the necessary paperwork. With their 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and professional customer care team, you can rest assured that your paperwork will be filled out correctly and filed with the appropriate government agencies, leaving you free to take care of what you’re passionate about. LegalZoom has three comprehensive packages, one of which can fit your specific needs.
The Economy Package
While the word economy may bring up images of a compact car that you can rent for the lowest possible price, LegalZoom’s economy package is anything but compact. For $99 plus a state-filing fee, you receive preliminary clearance of your nonprofit organization’s name, your Articles of Incorporation filed with the appropriate state government, a Nolo law press book on how to form your nonprofit, and a peace of mind review by a trusted member of the LegalZoom team.
The Standard Package
At any other business that offers these types of services, a standard plan would be just that, standard. But at LegalZoom, the standard package is anything but normal. Along with all of the benefits that the economy plan offers, the standard plan adds a number of other features to the mix. For $239 plus state-filing fees, you also receive a deluxe nonprofit kit that features your name expertly embossed on the spine of the binder, an official company seal, and 20 customizable membership certificates and a transfer ledger. There is nothing else like it on the market, except of course the express gold packages that LegalZoom offers.
The Express Gold Package
If you simply can’t wait to get your nonprofit organization started, then the LegalZoom express gold package is for you. The all-inclusive rush package gives you all of the products and services that are included in the economy package and the standard package plus a few other products and services that will make starting your nonprofit that much easier. When you pay the $359 plus state-filing fees, LegalZoom will provide you with their priority rush service, which will expedite your order so your nonprofit organization will be set up in 7 to 10 business days. You will also receive a CD that contains more than 40 business forms that are essential to running a business, an application for you to get your federal tax ID number and two-day delivery of your final paperwork.
Enlisting the help of a company like LegalZoom to get you through the often overwhelming aspects of starting a nonprofit organization can save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches. With their expert knowledge and professional customer service representatives, you can focus your energies on the more important aspects of your nonprofit organization, because you didn’t decide to enter into the nonprofit sector to slave over paperwork, but rather to enjoy the satisfaction you get from giving back. Like most entrepreneurs who have entered into the world of nonprofits, at the end of the day, you have the satisfaction of knowing that your efforts have improved the world, notes Carol Tice, freelance writer for Entrepreneur. Because for you, you can’t imagine doing anything else.