Well I promised a few of you quite a while ago that I would share my journey of starting Hope Blooms. I finally have a moment to do that.
First off, check with your states Secretary of State office(SOS). They will have the info. you need to get started. Check to see if they have sample Articles of Incorporation. In Minnesota they had some. You will need to make sure that the verbage that the IRS requires is on there, if you are planning to file for tax exempt status (501(c)(3) status. There is alot of stuff required for filing with the irs. So I suggest you get going on your state paperwork right away. After you finish the Articles of Incorporation, send them in. Then you are incorporated. Cost in my state is $70.00.
Next, assume your name. This is also done with the SOS office. The cost for this in my state is $25.00. This is an easy form to fill out, and takes a matter of minutes to do.
Mission statement. This needs to be done for incorporation also. Look around at a few other non profit sites and get a feel for how others are doing it. This will take time, and was created using 3 of us e-mailing back and forth a few times.
In Minnesota, you need to have at least 3 people on your board. We do have three right now. The three of us are doing the grunt work, and will hopefully in the near future take on the roles of working the non-profit and finding more board members. Our mission is waiting children, and we want to work more hands on with them, rather than serving on the board.
Writing the by laws. That is going to take more time. I have not started that, however I have a sample of the verbage from my state's SOS office. So I Will start plugging away at them soon. This is going to be the nuts and bolts of your non profit. IF you are starting it yourself, it is the place to create the knitty gritty of your non profit. How do you want it to run. Keep in mind your mission. It isn't for you, but for others.
I need to get my bylaws written, before I can file paperwork with the IRS. So that is my next plan. In the mean time I am looking into some foundations that may have monies available without having to have the IRS paperwork done. We have some land in mind, that is in foreclosure, so want to secure that property soon.
My next blog will be on some rules that I ran across on running/starting a successful business. I am going to tweak them for running a nonprofit. They pretty much go hand in hand. But it has some good ideas in it.
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