Nonprofit Startup

Incorporation, bylaws, tax exemption, insurance, intellectual property, real estate, employment policies … Starting a nonprofit, 501(c)3, or charity is a complex endeavor!

Charitable Allies can guide you through the processes of forming a not-for-profit organization or even handle them on your behalf so you can stay focused on your mission. We at Charitable Allies are your dedicated, nonprofit advocates here to assist your charitable organization with any questions or concerns.

“Starting a charity is a legal undertaking, but it’s also so much more. We’ll make sure you start strong so you can immediately begin to grow,” says Zac Kester.


public charity

Public Charity

Refers to a majority of 501(c)3 organizations. For example: human society, social service, youth service, and more.

religious organization

Churches and Religious Organizations

To be deemed a “church” or “religious organization”, the IRS considers attributes such as having a recognized creed and form of worship, formal code of doctrine and discipline, distinct religious history, regular congregations, distinct legal existence, and many more.

private foundation

Private foundations

Organizations that qualify for tax exemption in accordance with section 501(c)(3) is considered a private foundation. There are organizations that are specifically excluded from the definition according to section 509(a).

political organization

Political Organizations

Political parties; campaign committees for candidates for federal, state or local office as well as political action committees are all political organizations subject to tax under IRC section 527.

other non-profit

Other Nonprofits

Other Nonprofits would include Social Welfare Organizations, Agriculture/Horticulture Organizations, Labor Organizations, and Business Leagues.


We want to help you get started on your mission as quickly as possible, yet with all
the details covered to open a nonprofit. A typical nonprofit startup will involve 5 core documents/steps:

  1. Articles of Incorporation/Organization/Association
    • What entity structure will you use?
    • Does your foundation document have proper nonprofit “purpose” language?
    • Does the founding document have the IRS-required clauses?
      • Activities limited to one or more exempt purposes
      • Not empowered to engage in activities that are not charitable
      • Proper dissolution language
  2. Bylaws
    • Are the rules simple, and yet effective?
    • Will you and the rest of your organization (including the board) follow them?
    • Common considerations:
      • How many individuals will you have on your board?
      • Will there be an employee CEO or a volunteer staff?
      • Will you implement term limits?
      • Are there going to be nonprofit board committees?
  3. Obtain a federal Employer ID Number (EIN)
  4. Federal 501(c) Tax Exemption
    • Do you have a nonprofit business/programing plan?
    • Do you have a 4-year budget?
    • Are you an “EZ” charity (annual budget less than $50,000, among other requirements)?
    • Will you be sending funds internationally?
    • How to you intend to fundraise?
    • Will any of your directors be related?
  5. Other (Often Required) Nonprofit Corporate Documents
    • Conflict of Interest policy
    • Whistleblower policy
    • Internal Control policy
    • Funds Management policy
    • Restricted Funds policy

We have consulted with hundreds of charities and nonprofit organizations and have template forms from which we can start drafting that helps make establishing your nonprofit smoother. During the nonprofit formation we also advise on best practices as to each of the above. If you’re ready to start a nonprofit, make sure to answer these 7 questions first.





Charitable Allies can also assist your nonprofit organization with the following resources:

    • Depending on the basis of your nonprofit, there may be entity based protocol to be followed:
      • If a school: anti-discrimination policies, admissions policies, student and family manuals/handbooks, and much more
      • If a religious organization/church: statement of faith, religious employment criteria, marriage policy, facility use policy, formal membership policy to name a few
    • Securing state sales and property tax exemptions
    • Acquiring a reduced postage mailing permit
    • Filing Charity Solicitation Registrations (CSR), where required
    • Helping implement nonprofit best practices
    • Creating an employee handbook and advising on employment law
    • Charting a five-year plan
    • And much more


“We knew our volunteers wouldn’t have the time or the expertise to handle all the legal requirements, or even know what they were. Charitable Allies took care of everything at a reasonable cost.”

– Jason Allmon, Former Head Pastor, Bainbridge Christian Church