How to Start a Charity

Written by ehow culture & society editor
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To establish a successful charity, you must start with a good foundation. You can take a small step towards starting a charity by learning about the basics of non-profit foundation and management.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Legal documents
  • Funding
  • Volunteers

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    Change the World With Your Charity

  1. 1

    Determine what the needs are in your community. Before you start a charity, it is essential that you map out who you will be helping and how you will accomplish this. These ideas will form the basis of any grant proposals you may wish to draw up in your fund raising efforts and may be best expressed in the form of a mission statement.

  2. 2

    Pick the organizational structure for your charity. You might start by soliciting the support of like-minded friends or related organizations. Most non-profit charities possess some kind of executive structure based on the legal aspects of incorporation including an president, vice president and secretary as well as other positions.

  3. 3

    Comply with your state's regulations regarding charitable organizations. This may involved filing paperwork outlining the purpose of your charity as well as paying an application fee.

  4. 4

    File the appropriate forms to receive an employer identification number for your charity. This will be necessary for filing taxes and is required if you plan on hiring additional staff to support your endeavor.

  5. 5

    Request recognition from the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit charitable organization. Read all the information regarding the requirements of the IRS when you start a charity in the United States to confirm that your charity will comply with their regulations (see Resources below).

  6. 6

    Get active in your community. Once you have completed the necessary paperwork and set in place a board of officers to oversee your charity, put your mission statement into action by organizing charitable events. The needs you choose to address in your community will guide you in your actions.

Tips and warnings

  • Enlist the support of other successful charities in your area. Remember you are all working towards a common goal of making your community a better place. Most organizations will happily offer advice and instruction along the road to forming a charity.
  • Properly maintained records are at the core of a successful charity. In order to comply with state and federal regulations, enlist the support of an accountant who specializes in accounts for charities and non-profits.

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