March 13


How To Start A Non Profit Organization

By Mimi MacLean

March 13, 2021

Photographer: Anna Earl | Source: Unsplash

This past week on the Badass CEO, we interviewed Sheila Morovati – an incredible woman whose non-for-profit organizations create real change in the world. Non-for-profits, also known as 501c3 organizations, are a fantastic way to create a platform that positively impacts the world and highlights issues close to your heart. These organizations are particular under tax and federal law, and they require quite a bit of paperwork and forms to exist under the title 501c3. Creating one is a multi-step process, so we wanted to break it down for you with the top steps needed to start a nonprofit organization.


I am sure you know who you want to help and why you want to help them through your non-profit but starting one isn’t merely knowing who you’re going to help – it is about HOW you will help. Think about the group your organization is working to uplift – what has been done? What hasn’t been done? How does your nonprofit stand out and work to help them in a way that others haven’t?


One of the first steps you need to take is to file for your organization’s name and make sure it is available to use. From there, you need to file articles of incorporation which will protect your board and staff from any legal liabilities. If you want more information on why and how to file for incorporation, then head over to Corpnet where they make filing for incorporation a simple and smooth process.

Another necessary setup you want to have done in your nonprofit’s early stages is filing for a federal employee identification number and being recognized as an official 501c3 organization.


There would be no nonprofit organization without its team supporting its every step, which might be the most crucial. You want to make sure everyone on your team is passionate about your cause and is ready to invest the time it takes to grow a brand new nonprofit. As we learned from this week’s Badass CEO, Sheila Morovati of the Crayola Collection Org, it’s not easy. Listen to her episode HERE

A vital team member that many overlooks is a company attorney. They are critical to making sure your company’s back end runs smoothly and you are using the correct filing forms, tax exemptions, and legal moves. Having someone take care of the financial backend will allow you to focus on the bigger picture and growing your cause.

Something to consider when putting together your team is delegating tasks to online platforms that can help save you time from administrative tasks and give you more time to focus on the organization as a whole. One platform to consider is Bench, they are an online financial platform that will help you keep track of your bookkeeping and do your tax returns – making tax season a breeze. To check them out and see how they can help your nonprofit run smoothly click HERE.


One area of marketing that you cannot neglect, and we advice you heavily push forward with, is social media and influencer marketing. Focusing on digital promotion might sound at odds with being nonprofit because you aren’t selling products to consumers for profit, but building a social media presence will allow you to reach as many people as possible (globally) and build cause awareness. Using social media ambassadors and campaigns can open doors to opportunities with media outlets, channels, celebrities, and more prominent organizations. Using social media platforms like Later and Canva to build an attractive and informative feed could make an incredible difference in your nonprofit’s growth and goal achievement.


Once you have filed, organized your team, and gotten a substantial presence in the digital world, it’s time to host the first informational event to introduce you to the world. Getting familiar with digital hosting sites like Zoom and Google Hangouts will be critical to hosting virtual events and fundraisers.

While trying to host events during a pandemic might seem limiting and intimidating, there are many creative ways to make virtual events dynamic and engaging. Spend some time getting used to the platforms, researching occasions other nonprofits have had, and brainstorming possible guests and panel speakers.

In the nonprofit world, it’s all about passion and acting with your heart first to better our world. If you feel the drive and passion for starting an organization that builds up communities and improves the world we live in, then hopefully, our mini-guide has inspired you and given you the basic framework to do so!

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