New Orleans Public Library

NOTE: Some of the following web sites were developed by organizations in other states and contain a few references which are specific to the laws of their state.

  1. What to Consider Before Starting a Nonprofit

     What is a Nonprofit?
    From Curbstone Press
    “In the broadest terms, a nonprofit is defined as an organization that does not have owners who profit when revenues exceed expenses.  In other words, a nonprofit may make a “profit,” but it does not distribute its profit to individuals or shareholders as a for-profit organization would.”

    Get Ready; Get Set (Requires Adobe Reader)*
    From the Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles
    “It should be clear that starting a nonprofit organization requires just as much planning as launching a for-profit business enterprise, if not more.”
    “First, be sure you have a good general understanding of your field...Read everything you can on the topic. Learn what has been tried, what does or does not work. Get to know people who work in the field.  Seek them out, discuss your idea, and listen to their reactions.”

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of becoming a nonprofit organization?
    From The Foundation Center (the definitive resource for information about foundations, funding and the basic functioning of nonprofits)
    “Many foundations and government agencies restrict their grants to public charities [501c3].”

  2. Steps in Forming a Nonprofit

     The following web sites list the steps involved in forming a 501c3 organization and provide links to explain the details.

    Establishing a Nonprofit Organization
    From the Foundation Center

    Start-Up Information
    From Nonprofit Resources, Inc. of Arkansas

    Key Steps in Forming a Nonprofit
    From the Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies

  3. Nonprofit Boards  

    What are the basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards?
    From the Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies

    What are job descriptions for nonprofit board members?
    From the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

    How do we safeguard against conflict of interest?
    From BoardSource (the national experts on nonprofit boards)

  4. Definitions and Examples

    How to Start a Nonprofit: Sample Articles of Incorporation

    What should our mission statement say?

    What’s in a mission statement?

    Nonprofit Bylaws

    How to Start a Nonprofit: Sample Bylaws

  5. Nonprofit Accounting & Budgets  

    How Can We Make a Budget for the IRS Before We Start Work?
    From the Internet Nonprofit Center’s FAQs  

    Financial Management
    From the Alliance for Nonprofit Management (the national resource for information on nonprofit management)

    Basic Guide to Non-Profit Financial Management
    From Minnesota’s Management Assistance Program (MAP)

    Sample Budget
    From Nonprofit Guides

  6. Forms & Publications  

    Articles of Incorporation-State of Louisiana (requires Adobe Reader)*
    State of Louisiana form SS395A: Articles of Incorporation

    Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization (requires Adobe Reader)*
    IRS booklet describing rules that apply to 501c3 organizations

    Application for Recognition of Exemption  (requires Adobe Reader)*
    IRS form 1023 - Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501c3

    Application for Employer Identification Number (requires Adobe Reader)*
    IRS form SS-4 - Application for Employer Identification Number

  7. Filling Out IRS Form 1023  

    Help Filling Out Your 501c3 Application
    Page-by-page help in filling out your 501c3 application.

* You will need Adobe Reader to read and print these items. Download Adobe Reader for free.

Based on a compilation originally created by Greater New Orleans Nonprofit Knowledge Works.

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Revised 12/17/2006