The following documents and links provide some insights and directions for forming a non-profit business.

Internal Revenue Service

Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

How to file for non-profit status (PDF)

Short form to file for non-profit status (Form 1023-EZ)

Non-Profit Board Guidebook

Information for members of a non-profit board

Non-Profit board guidebook (PDF)

Tax-exempt Organization Workshop

Presentation about establishing a tax-exempt organization

Tax-exempt organization how-to presentation (PDF)

Non-Profit Bylaws

Detailed description of all the elements of your bylaws - name, corporate purposes, membership, meetings, board of directors, officers, committees, corporate staff, conflict of interest and compensation, indemnification, books and records, and amendments

How to Write Your Non-Profit Bylaws

Tips on Starting a Non-Profit Organization in Pennsylvania

Checklist for starting a non-profit in Pennsylvania from the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO)

Starting a Non-Profit in Pennsylvania

Non-Profit Checklist

A quick checklist for steps to be taking for a non-profit before they start to seek a grant (adopted from The Checklist Project of The Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York).

  1. Organization reserves a name with appropriate State or District office
  2. Organization selects individuals to serve on its board of directors
  3. Organization designates officers to serve on the board
  4. Organization develops a mission statement
  5. Organization establishes board committees
  6. Organization adopts by-laws
  7. Organization retains an accountant for annual audit and mandatory government filings
  8. Organization incorpprates or forms a trust to protect its founders and principals from personal liability
  9. Organization applies to IRS for an employer identification number (E.I.N.)
  10. Organization establishes a bank account and establishes check-signing privileges
  11. Organization desginates which officer(s) have the power to sign checks
  12. Organization files Form 1023 with IRS to get its tax exemption and its designation as being other than a private foundation
  13. Organization files for state and local tax exemptions
  14. Organization applies for an Employer Registration Number and a Labor Department Number from appropriate State or District office
  15. Organization establishes financial management, auditing, and internal control systems

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Non-Profit Resources