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Starting a Nonprofit

This guide offers information and resources on starting a nonprofit in Colorado.

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Katie Edson
Penrose Library
20 N. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 531-6333 x6141

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What you need to know before heading out to the Robert Hilbert Nonprofit Resource Center

At this time, The Robert Hilbert Nonprofit Resource Center and all PPLD facilities are operating with limited indoor services.  Learn more about the Library's response to COVID-19 here:

While we are temporarily operating at a more limited capacity, staff from the Robert Hilbert Nonprofit Resouce Center are available to assist you with your funding research needs remotely. Please email for more information.

The Robert Hilbert Nonprofit Resource Center is open with restrictions  Please note that the resource center's hours have changed and the room is now open by appointment from 10 am - 2 pm, Monday through Saturday.  The room is also available by appointment from 2 pm - 5 pm Monday through Saturday (walk-ins are also welcome but not guaranteed space if the room is already at capacity).  Please call (719) 531-6333 x6141 or email to make an appointment or to ask additional questions.

  • Due to room occupancy restrictions, groups are not allowed at this time. 
  • Masks are required while in the room and in all areas of the library. 



Interested in starting a nonprofit, but not sure where to go?  This guide will provide information on how to get started, what you should think about before getting started, and links to resources to help you start a nonprofit.                                                            

According to the IRS, the purpose of a nonprofit must be charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.  It is not because you do not plan to make any money.

Things to remember before starting a nonprofit:

  • Your vision should be UNIQUE.
  • You do not "own" the nonprofit once established.  The Board of Directors is responsible for the oversight of the nonprofit.
  • If you are completing the IRS application on your own, it could take 12-18 months for approval.
  • The IRS Tax Code changed in 2018, removing the nonprofit donation personal exemption for a majority of taxpayers.

The IRS has 29 501(c) designations, including the most popular 501(c)(3).  A 501(c)(3) designation means donations made to your organization are tax deductible.  For the purposes of this guide, nonprofit designation will refer to a 501(c)(3) organization.