Starting a nonprofit: five tips and a warning

By editorial staff, Idealist |

The world is in the midst of what one observer has called an “associational revolution.” New nonprofits are being formed for every sort of purpose on every continent at the fastest rate in history. If you are thinking of joining this vast worldwide movement by starting — or helping to start — a nonprofit, here are some crucial things to think about.

Tip #1: All nonprofits are local. Even the globe-spanning, household-name organizations that operate in hundreds or thousands of places must learn about, and live with, complicated rules that differ greatly from place to place. Almost certainly, the second thing you will do when starting a nonprofit is to register with the local government agency that handles new “nongovernmental organizations” in the community where the organization will operate.

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