When Should You Start Your Nonprofit

Timing is everything when it comes to the question: when should you start your nonprofit? My law firm has a wide array of clients ranging from college students to Fortune 500 companies. Yet, the answer is typically the same for everyone.

Now. The best time to start your nonprofit is now.

Oftentimes, people think that the best time to get started is after they have everything figured out. They feel that they need a professionally written business plan, board directors, a name, built their website, have a six-figure budget as a result of their fundraising, etc. Now all of those things are great – but they certainly are not necessary for us to get started. 

The reason we do not encourage folks to wait until they have everything figure out is because:

  1. They will miss out on the value of having a nonprofit lawyer share best practices, answer questions, and provide guidance that only a trusted advisor that has worked with countless nonprofits can offer. We’ve had clients hire my firm that spent hours working on things for their nonprofit only for us to glance at it and inform them that they did not need it, they did it wrong, or share with them our process for it which they enthusiastically wanted to swap for theirs.
  2. Getting started now begins to build your history with the organization. This is usually judged favorably over a nonprofit that is brand new and unproven. Not everyone wants to seek outside funding for their nonprofit, but if you do, grants will want to see your history with your nonprofit. 
  3. The I.R.S. favors organizations that filed early after starting the nonprofit. They have different filing requirements based on how long it took you after incorporating to apply for tax-exempt status.
  4. Forming your nonprofit is an investment that pays for itself due to the protection from liability. Of all the clients I have represented, being sued was not something that they expected. Knowing that your personal life savings are not at risk makes it more than a worthy investment.
  5. The professional image that forming your nonprofit gives your charity is a powerful incentive. Donors, vendors, volunteers, etc. tend to be more favorable toward organizations that have structured themselves the right way instead of organizations that have not.

Starting your nonprofit as soon as possible is very important. At Chisholm Law Firm, we have a 100% success rate for our clients. You can rest assured that your nonprofit is in the best hands and that we’ll get everything done right the first time. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

And remember – it shouldn’t be this hard to be a superhero.


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