There are a number of reasons to try to incorporate a nonprofit organization. Here are some suggestions for NOT incorporating.
- You do not have a group of people who share your mission, passion and sense of vision who will work with you to create this nonprofit tax exempt organization.
- You are not sure whether other people will work with you on the project.
- You left a similar organization and you want to compete with them and you know you can do better.
- You think it will be pretty simple to incorporate in the State and file with the Internal Revenue Service.
- You are not sure what kind of work goes into operating a nonprofit corporation after it is incorporated and recognized by the State as a nonprofit organization and by the IRS as a tax exempt organization.
- You own some property that would be perfect for (your choice: an office, a pet sanctuary, avoiding property taxes).
- You know there is a need for this service but you have not documented the need and do not know how to go about assessing and meeting the need.
- You have never volunteered or worked in a nonprofit group but that should not be too hard.
- You are not aware of other groups in your community already doing what you are thinking about doing.
- You believe the first thing you should do is create a web site about your ideas and your organization to start raising money (the "if you build it, they will come" syndrome).
- You believe it is easy to operate, sustain and maintain a nonprofit organization
- You believe it will be easy to raise the money to accomplish your goals and objectives.
- You like to be independent.
- You have a great idea, this is a great opportunity and you are concerned that other people who become involved will change the programs and activities you want.
- You and your family want to control the organization so that it will be run right.
- You want to be the chief executive officer with a salary and sit on the board as chairperson.
- You are aggressively going to seek grants because it must be easy.
Please rethink why you want to start a nonprofit. If one or more of these are in your mind, back up and think again. I will try to help you think it through as we go along in this blog. There are many great reasons and motivations for starting a nonprofit organization but these are not among them. We'll see some more questions about starting a nonprofit group as we go along that may help you in your thinking.