Nonprofit Guidelines

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Nonprofit (or not for profit) organizations can and do provide many vital services to people or even animals in need. Having been designed as, essentially, companies that raise money to help certain causes, both state and federal governments have decided to help them along with their mission statements by not taxing the money they make from contributions or sales.

To qualify for this exempted tax status, however, there are a number of guidelines that these nonprofit organizations must follow carefully in order to retain their charitable status.

Aside from working for some great causes, one of the benefits of running a not for profit organization is the tax exemption status. For most corporations, the government levies a fair amount of taxes on whatever income they make in a given year. With nonprofit organizations, however, the government refrains from taxing their income because all of that money is supposed to go to support a charitable cause. Churches, animal shelters, wildlife funds, homeless shelters and even healthcare centers can all be not for profit organizations with this special tax-exempt status. If you think you may want to start a nonprofit organization, first you must incorporate the company with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and pass a very careful screening to claim the benefits of 501(c)3 status. Because the process of applying for this status is long and often filled with detailed legal jargon, it is highly recommended that you find a good attorney to help you with the application process.



Most states have laws that require nonprofit organizations to have a board of directors with at least two members. The board of directors for not for profit organizations are responsible for ensuring that the organization's funds are all accounted for and going towards accomplishing their mission. Board members are typically community leaders or professionals who have a passion for seeing the company's thrive and help the people, places or things it was created to give aid to. Being a board member is a big responsibility because board members are often the public faces of their organizations and are heavily involved in running it, usually helping to make decisions that could affect the nonprofit organizations for years into the future.

Not for profit organizations tend to raise the money they need to advance their causes in three different ways: donations, fundraisers and grants. Soliciting donations and organizing fundraisers require a lot of planning and publicity. Ads in newspapers, television commercials, press releases or promotion of the charity by board members or celebrities are useful tools in raising funds for your nonprofit organizations. The government can also help you fund your charity. The government sets aside millions of dollars every year in the form of grants for various qualified nonprofit organizations to do their work. In this case, hiring a grant writer might be your best bet.
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 Internal Revenue Service  tax exempt  mission statements  fundraisers  charitable organizations  nonprofit organizations  contributions  organizations  responsibilities  managers


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