Start a Nonprofit Organization | Form a Nonprofit organization
A practical and definitive guide to start a Nonprofit
organization in the U.S.A
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There are 4 different structures that can be used to start a
• Start as an Unincorporated Nonprofit Organization
• Start as a Trust
• Start as an Association
• Start as a Corporation
Which is the best structure to use?
Let us not call any of these as the best way – each of these structures has certain advantages and
disadvantages. However the most popular way of starting a nonprofit organization is to take the
For more information read: Advantages of starting as a corporation. This would explain why almost
85% of the people choose this route to start nonprofit organizations.
Types of non profit organizations
There are many types of non profit organization and they have been classified into different categories
as per Section 501 of the IRS rules.
However we are concerned primarily with charitable organizations that fall into the category of
Section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS rules.
A new start up non profit organization falls under the jurisdiction of section 501 (c)(3) if it is a
charitable, educational, literary, religious, scientific, concerned with public safety, promotes amateur
sporting activities or works for the prevention of cruelty towards children or animals.
Most of the non profit organizations do actually fall into ‘charitable’ or any other category of this
section. The term ‘charitable’ in itself allows for inclusion of vast variety of non profit organizations
and is thus applicable in most of the cases. Thus organizations like alumni associations, clubs, schools,
chapters of international organizations also qualify as relevant for this section.
If the organizatio