- If you are not sure you are ready to take on all the obligations of running a 501(c)(3) organization - or
- When you are ready to research & become a 501(c)(3) organization
Alternatives to Starting Your Own 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
If you are not sure you are ready to take on all the obligations of running a 501(c)(3) organization you may want to consider starting a new program within an existing nonprofit. You can:
- Contact other nonprofits in your area who provide similar services and inquire if they might be interested in partnering with you to add a program that will meet the unmet community needs you have identified.
- Identify another 501(c)(3) to be serve as your fiscal agent. The Colorado Nonprofit Development Center is one organization that provides this service.
- Learn more about Fiscal Sponsorships.
Who is eligible for 501(c)(3) status?
There are three components for an organization to be exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS. A not-for-profit organization must be (1) organized and (2) operated exclusively for (3) one or more exempt purposes.
What is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization?
501(c)(3) organizations must be established and operated for one or more of the following purposes (most common purposes in bold):
- Testing for public safety
- Fostering national or international sports competition
- Preventing cruelty to children or animals
For more information, see the IRS brochure: Applying for 501c3 Tax-Exempt Status