Starting a nonprofit organization takes passion, drive and a strong desire to make a difference in the world. It also requires careful planning, significant business, legal and financial expertise, and knowledge of how to lead and grow your project.
After carefully planning your charitable initiative, there are two primary ways to start your nonprofit organization:
Option 1: Incorporation as a 501(c)3, tax-exempt charitable organization
You can form your own nonprofit organization by incorporating as a legal entity with the State of Idaho and applying for tax-exempt, 501(c)3 status. There are a number of fees associated with this process, and you may have to hire an attorney or an accountant to assist you. Incorporating can cost up to a few thousand dollars and can take anywhere from six to nine months to complete.
Option 2: Fiscal Sponsorship
Another option is to partner with an existing nonprofit corporation who will act as your fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsorship relationship is one in which an existing nonprofit corporation extends their 501(c)3, tax-exempt status to a project so that they may solicit tax-deductible contributions and grants and operate under the “umbrella” of that organization. If you choose this option, we strongly recommend that you create a written agreement between you and the organization serving as your project’s fiscal sponsor that includes an understanding of the services provided, fees charged, the term of the engagement, and the grounds for terminating the relationship. (Read the Guidelines for Fiscal Sponsorship from the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors.)
Clearwater RC&D Council’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program
The Clearwater RC&D Council is a nonprofit organization that operates a fiscal sponsorship program. We provide fiscal sponsorship to projects that demonstrate genuine charitable intent, able and committed leadership, potential for significant community impact, and strong prospects for growth and financial sustainability.