Fundraising Tips Non-Profit

How to Set Up a Nonprofit for 501c3 Status

We work with all types of nonprofits to help them reach their fundraising goals. Set up a nonprofit organization for 501(c)(3) status, and you’ll be ready to start fundraising with Country Meats snack sticks. Here are the basic guidelines for starting a nonprofit and setting it up to earn 501(c)(3) [tax exempt] status.

How Do You Start a Nonprofit: Launching and Securing 501(c)(3) Status

If you have a desire to make a difference and a vision for an organization that can help others, you might have a nonprofit idea flickering in your mind. But turning that idea into a legitimate organization with the power to help others begins with two crucial steps: setting up your nonprofit and securing 501(c)(3) status. Once you establish your nonprofit, you can start fundraising with Country Meats. It’s our mission to help nonprofits just like yours.

Setting Up a Nonprofit for Beginners

You can start up a nonprofit by yourself or with a group, but whichever way you begin, you’ll need to go through the same steps:

  1. Laying the Legal Groundwork. First things first: You need a solid legal foundation. This involves incorporating your organization according to the law, establishing a board of directors, and drafting bylaws that define your mission and governance structure. Resources like the National Council of Nonprofits’ Starting a Nonprofit guide and Foundation Group’s How to Start a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit can steer you through this process. We list these resources below.
  2. Crafting Your Mission and Vision Statements. Clearly define your organization’s mission and vision. These guiding statements will inform your programs, fundraising strategies, and overall direction. Consult the Nonprofit Standards for Excellence “Standards & Practices” below for instructions on writing successful mission and vision statements.
  3. Build a Team: Assemble a passionate and skilled board of directors who share your vision and can provide strategic guidance. Seek diverse perspectives and expertise that complement your own.

Securing 501(c)(3) Status

501(c)(3) status is the golden ticket to tax-exempt donations and a powerful symbol of your organization’s legitimacy. Here’s how to navigate the process:

  1. Understand the Requirements. Familiarize yourself with the IRS guidelines for 501(c)(3) eligibility outlined in Publication 557, which we’ve included in a link below. Knowing the guidelines before you start your application ensures your organization aligns with the criteria.
  2. Choose Your Path. The IRS offers two application forms, Form 1023 and the simplified Form 1023-EZ. The National Council of Nonprofits’ 501(c)(3) Resource Center can help you determine which form is right for your organization. We have links to both forms below.
  3. Gather Documentation. To demonstrate your nonprofit’s compliance with the 501(c)(3) regulations, you’ll need to provide detailed financial information, your bylaws, and other supporting documents.
  4. Seek Support. It’s smart to seek guidance from a qualified legal or tax professional to ensure a smooth application process. Securing 501(c)(3) status can be complex, and consulting with a professional helps you sidestep any misunderstandings of the regulations and requirements.

Launching your nonprofit is a rewarding adventure. By carefully planning, building a strong foundation, and navigating the 501(c)(3) process with diligence, you can turn your dream into a reality and make a lasting impact on your community. Country Meats is here to help you raise the money you need to support your nonprofit mission—even if you have no start-up funds for your first fundraiser. If you have questions about whether your nonprofit is a good fit for a Country Meats fundraiser, give us a call at 1 (800) 277-8989 or send an email to We’ll be happy to chat.

Helpful Resources for Starting a Nonprofit Organization:

Nonprofit Start-Up Basics:

Getting 501(c)(3) Status: