How to Start a Nonprofit in Wyoming?


Starting a nonprofit in Wyoming can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and resources, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Nonprofits play a vital role in the community by providing services and resources to those in need. In this blog, we will cover the steps needed to start a nonprofit in Wyoming, including the legal requirements, funding options, and ways to create a successful organization.

Determine Your Mission and Goals

The first step in starting a nonprofit is to determine your mission and goals. This will help guide the direction of your organization and determine the services and resources you will provide. It is important to have a clear and specific mission statement that outlines the purpose of your organization. Consider the community needs and how your nonprofit will address them. Your mission statement should be concise and easy to understand, it should also be able to capture the essence of your nonprofit and its purpose. It is also important to set clear and achievable goals that align with your mission statement. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART goals).

Conduct Research

Once you have a clear mission and goals, conduct research to determine if there are already existing nonprofits in your area providing similar services. If so, consider ways to differentiate your organization and make it unique. Researching the competition can also give you insight into the needs of the community and potential funding sources. This research will also help you to identify gaps in the services provided by existing organizations and how your nonprofit can fill those gaps. This will also help you to identify potential partners and collaborators that can help you to achieve your goals.

Form a Board of Directors

A board of directors is responsible for the overall governance of the nonprofit. They will be responsible for making decisions, creating policies, and providing oversight. In Wyoming, a nonprofit must have at least three board members. It is important to choose individuals who are committed to the mission of the organization and have the skills and expertise to help guide the organization. These individuals should be able to provide guidance, mentorship and support as well as being able to bring different perspectives and expertise to the table. They should also be able to make difficult decisions and be willing to take on financial and legal responsibilities.

Obtain Federal Tax-Exempt Status

Obtaining federal tax-exempt status is a crucial step in starting a nonprofit in Wyoming. This status allows the organization to be exempt from federal income tax and allows donors to make tax-deductible contributions. To obtain this status, the organization must file for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. This process can take several months, so it is important to plan accordingly. The process of obtaining federal tax-exempt status involves filling out the appropriate forms and providing documentation to the IRS. The IRS will then review the application and determine if the organization qualifies for tax-exempt status. It is important to ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete to avoid delays in the process.

Register with the State

In addition to obtaining federal tax-exempt status, the organization must also register with the state of  Wyoming. This includes filing articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State and obtaining a business license. The state may also require the nonprofit to register with the Charitable Solicitations Program. Registering with the state is necessary to ensure that the organization is in compliance with state laws and regulations. This will also allow the organization to apply for state funding and grants.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a critical tool for any nonprofit organization. It outlines the organization's mission, goals, and strategies for achieving them. The plan should also include information on the organization's budget on the budget and fundraising plans. A business plan will help guide the organization's decisions and provide a roadmap for achieving its goals. The business plan should be a comprehensive document that includes a detailed overview of the nonprofit's mission and goals, as well as information on the programs and services that will be offered. It should also include a budget, fundraising plan, and marketing plan. This document should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and aligned with the organization's goals.

Obtain Funding

Obtaining funding is a vital step in starting a nonprofit. There are several options for funding, including grants, donations, and fundraising events. It is important to research potential funding sources and create a funding plan that outlines how the organization will raise the necessary funds. This may include applying for grants from foundations, government agencies, and private organizations. It may also include soliciting donations from individuals and businesses, as well as organizing fundraising events. It is important to diversify funding sources to ensure that the organization is not overly reliant on any one source.

Create a Marketing Plan

Creating a marketing plan is an essential step in promoting the organization and its services. A marketing plan should include strategies for reaching potential donors, volunteers, and clients. It should also outline the organization's messaging and branding. The marketing plan should include a detailed description of the target audience, as well as a description of the messages and channels that will be used to reach that audience. The plan should also include a budget and a timeline for implementation.

Develop Programs and Services

Once funding is secured, the organization can begin developing programs and services. This may include hiring staff, creating a website, and developing marketing materials. It is important to involve the community in the development of programs and services to ensure they meet the needs of the community. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and community meetings. The organization should also establish a system for evaluating the effectiveness of its programs and services.


Starting a nonprofit in Wyoming can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following these steps and utilizing the right resources, you can create a successful organization that makes a positive impact on the community. It is important to have a clear mission and goals, conduct research, form a board of directors, obtain federal tax-exempt status, register with the state, create a business plan, obtain funding, develop programs and services, and create a marketing plan. Remember that starting a nonprofit is a process and it takes time, dedication, and patience to build a strong and sustainable organization.