If you are one of the many people wondering how to start a charity in Minnesota that is structured to provide tax-exempt status and also to allow you to provide a service for a community or group, getting a helping hand is always the first step.
Working with an experienced nonprofit law attorney will help your charity by structuring the necessary documents to ensure full compliance with all necessary requirements. The actual steps to start a charity in the state are very important as each group or entity has to comply with the guidelines of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
The first part of the process of how to start a charity in the state is to develop a clear vision or mission statement for the charity. This is the purpose or the reason for the charity to exist. These objectives and purposes can be broad in nature, but they have to be broken down into steps and goals.
It will also be important to have a board that will guide the development of the new charity. The board will create the bylaws and the original Articles of Incorporation for the charity. Many charities hire nonprofit attorneys to assist in this process, particularly if there are no attorneys acting as members of the board.
At the same time, the board will develop a name for the charity. This has to be unique to clearly identify the charity. Remember, future fundraising, marketing and membership will all use the name, so it is important to get something that is memorable and effective.
Protection and Planning
The articles of incorporation and the bylaws provide not only direction and structure for the charity, but they also provide protection. The Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act provides some specific laws that must be included in all nonprofit bylaws and articles of incorporation.
Once this is completed, the necessary documents are filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State. This will provide you with a Certificate of Incorporation which will allow you to file or tax-exempt status with the IRS.
There are additional steps in how to start a charity in Minnesota. With professional guidance from a nonprofit law attorney, the process is not nearly as overwhelming and intimidating, making it much easier to get started with your charitable goals.