Choose a Mission
When choosing a mission for your nonprofit organization, it is important to consider what causes or issues you are passionate about and align them with the needs of your community. Research existing organizations and see if there is a need for a new organization in that area. Your mission should be specific, clear, and measurable. For example, instead of saying "to help the homeless," your mission might be "to provide temporary housing and job training to homeless individuals in Kansas City."
Incorporate Your Organization
Incorporating your organization in Kansas means filing articles of incorporation with the Kansas Secretary of State and paying a filing fee. The articles of incorporation must include the name of the corporation, the purpose of the corporation, the names and addresses of the incorporators, and the number of directors the corporation will have. It is important to choose a unique name that is not already in use by another organization.
Obtain Tax-Exempt Status
To obtain tax-exempt status, you will need to file Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code with the IRS. This form can be found on the IRS website and instructions for completing it are also available. Obtaining tax-exempt status means that your organization will not have to pay federal income taxes and that donors may be able to deduct contributions they make to your organization on their taxes.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a detailed document that outlines your organization's mission, goals, and objectives, as well as details on how you plan to achieve them. It should also include information on your organization's budget, fundraising plan, and marketing strategy. A business plan will help you to stay on track and ensure that your organization is sustainable.
Build a Board of Directors
A board of directors is a group of individuals who are responsible for the overall governance of your organization. They will make important decisions about the direction and policies of your organization. As a nonprofit organization, your board of directors must consist of at least three people who are not related to each other. It is important to have a diverse group of individuals on your board, including people with different skills and backgrounds.
Fundraising is an essential part of any nonprofit organization. Without funding, it will be difficult to achieve your organization's mission and goals. There are many ways to raise funds, including grant writing, individual donations, and fundraising events. It is important to have a fundraising plan in place to ensure that your organization is sustainable.
Compliance and Reporting
To maintain your nonprofit status, it is important to comply with state and federal laws and regulations. This includes filing annual reports with the Kansas Secretary of State and IRS, and obtaining any necessary licenses and permits. It is important to stay informed about the laws and regulations that apply to your organization, and to seek legal advice if you have any questions. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can result in fines, penalties or even revocation of your nonprofit status.
In summary, starting a nonprofit organization in Kansas requires a significant amount of planning and effort, but it can be a rewarding experience. By choosing a clear mission, incorporating your organization, obtaining tax-exempt status, developing a business plan, building a board of directors, fundraising, and complying with laws and regulations, you will be well on your way to making a positive impact in your community.