How to Start a Non-Profit in 2024

Is there a cause you care about that you want to build a business around? Are you looking to make a difference in the world? Then starting a non-profit online in 2024 might be right for you!

A non-profit corporation is by definition “a group organized for purposes other than generating profit and in which no part of the organization’s income is distributed to its members, directors, or officers.” This usually means that there is a cause or specific group of people a non-profit is trying to benefit cancer survivors, veterans, the homeless, or the environment.

Whether it is your first time working in the non-profit space or you’ve working with other non-profits for years, this guide will help you understand what steps you need to take to make your non-profit a success, from starting with an idea of who you want to help all the way down to making your non-profit official so you can have more impact the cause you care about!

Step 1: Start With an Idea

What is the group you want to help with your non-profit? What is the cause you want to support?

It is important when you are starting your non-profit to think into the future. What could this look like if I put years of effort into it and built a team? How many people could I help? Your idea might be small to start off with, but having a vision for the future can be a big indicator of how far your non-profit will go.

All non-profit organizations need to know what they are trying to achieve and what methods they will use to reach those goals.

Step 2: Do Your Research

Research similar organizations and non-profits. How long did it take them to get to where they are now? How do they help the audience you are trying to reach? What funding methods have they established to build relationships and collect donations? What systems and platforms are they using to manage their non-profit and conduct their outreach?

Not only do you want to conduct this research to see what your opportunities are, but you also want to see who your competition is. Just because other non-profits organizations are in the business of helping your same audience does not mean they will want to support you along the way. Even if your goal is to help other people or further a specific cause, there are plenty of other non-profits out there asking for donations and support from the same groups you will likely be reaching out to.

Once you’ve done your research it’s time to put all that information together in a plan that will help you grow and make the most impact!

Step 3: Create Your Plan

Take all of the information that you gather during the research phase and organize it into a written plan that you can use to guide your non-profit and also use as a stepping stone into building your website, crafting your marketing materials, and build your presentations for potential donors. has a great example of a plan you can use for starting your non-profit. You won’t necessarily need all of these elements in your plan, and there are others you may want to consider adding to the list depending on the kind of non-profit you are building, but this will get you moving in the right direction.

  • Executive summary.
  • Nonprofit description.
  • Need analysis.
  • Products, programs, and services descriptions.
  • Operational plan.
  • Marketing plan.
  • Impact plan.
  • Financial plan.

Step 4: Establish Funding Sources

One of the biggest ways your organization can start moving faster is by collecting donations from people that care about your cause. Maybe you want to help the veteran community by scheduling wilderness adventures for vets and you need funding to support those efforts. Or maybe you are trying to clean up local outdoor areas and need to purchase equipment to help your volunteers or staff.

Choosing your donations and funding platform is one of the most important decisions for your non-profit as it’s likely how you will receive the majority of your finances to be able to execute your plan and support your specific cause.

Our friends over at IATS are worth checking out for this part of your non-profit. They make it easy to raise money and accept payments securely for a flat rate instead of the typical platforms that have hidden fees built in that take away from your donations.

Once you have your donations platform in place you will want to start reaching out to potential donors, presenting to groups that may care about your cause, and potentially sponsoring events that can help you get in front of the right people.

Step 5: File With MyCorporation

Once you have your idea, do your research, put together your plan, and establish your funding sources, it’s time to file for and start a non-profit corporation!

There are other ways to file online, but our team at MyCorporation pairs each application with one-on-one customer service to make sure you have what you need when you need it. No need to wait on lengthy email chains or back and forth from companies like LegalZoom or Swyft Filings.

And the best part is, it only costs $99 + the fees in your individual state! Our team helps make it as easy as possible for you to start your non-profit and get to work.

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Step 6: Make an Impact!

Now it is time for you to go out and make an impact! You have all the tools you need to grow your non-profit, collect donations, get involved with your local and online communities, and make a difference in the world.

Our team here at MyCorporation is here if you have any questions as you are starting your non-profit, and we have free additional resources and information that may be valuable to you along the way. Just check out the learning center on our website! You got this!