Why seek non-profit status?
Non-profit status means, among other things, that donors get a tax break for donating. Also official non-profits get other perks.
How to get non-profit status
Applying for non-profit status with IRS
It's a pain, takes a long time, and is expensive.
The following steps cribbed from FGSEA wiki:
- Get a Seattle City Business license
- Register state business license
- File state taxes with the Department of Revenue
- Create a EIN/TIN or create one if we don't have one.
- Register a DUNS Number
- Obtain a copy of bylaws
- Obtain a copy of Articles of Incorporation
- Open a checking account
- 501c3 filing - step by step guide by the IRS
Applying for non-profit status under a Fiscal Sponsor
Other organizations which already have 501c3 status might act as a Fiscal Sponsor to the organization and accept donations / provide receipts on its behalf.
There are some orgs which exist explicitly to facilitate other charities in this way: