Becoming a California 501c3, Step One: Name and Mission Statement

The Worth Campaign is dedicated to becoming a California 501(c)(3). What does this mean? Well, it means that the intention of this organization will be to distribute charitable dollars and services to those most in need of them. Additionally, this will not be a for-profit business. But, this also means that I have a lot of work ahead of me.

I set this blog up so that you could follow along as I take The Worth Campaign to nonprofit status. Hopefully, documenting my process will inspire some of you to do the same because there are so many groups of people out there in need. It will be a long journey, but, through your support, we will certainly get there!

think black womanHere are the basic steps to becoming a non-profit org in the state of California.

  1. Secure a name and write a mission statement
  2. Draft and file the articles of incorporation (the docs which make the charity recognized by the state)
  3. Appoint a Board of Directors (can be 3- 25 directors)
  4. Draft the bylaws of the organization (the rules and regulations of the organization)
  5. File for a federal tax identification number with the IRS
  6. File a statement by domestic nonprofit corporation
  7. Register with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts
  8. Hold first Board Meeting with directors
  9. File for tax exemption
  10. Apply for all state and local permits

The first step is securing the name and writing the mission statement. I have already confirmed that “The Worth Campaign” is not being used in the state of California. But, I have to consult legal counsel to ensure that the name is not being used domestically and does not infringe on any other entities’ intellectual property rights. The mission statement is ready to go. So, my next formal action will be securing counsel for the remainder of the process. This is a long and arduous process. But, it is worth it in the end.

Most incorporators (folks starting a nonprofit) will be looking for Board members at this time, and I am no different. I am hoping to have a small Board of no more than five members. And, I have already identified one brilliant young lady to serve on my Board. I haven’t asked her yet but I am pretty sure she would be down with it.

One of the most important things about starting any blog, new business, or entrepreneurial project is trademarking. I can register my name all I want. But, if I do not own my images, anyone can copy them, reproduce them, or ad-lib on them without my consent. Luckily, The Worth Campaign is being trademarked right now. But, it is just a good thing to know for any new business person.

Follow along with me  on my journey to nonprofit status. And, if you have any helpful tips, advice, or recommendations, they are certainly welcomed.

Have you incorporated a nonprofit before? What was your journey like?



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