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Starting a Nonprofit

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

Additional Nonprofit Guides

Candid Startup Assessment

Readiness Assessment

Nonprofit Start-Up Readiness Assessment

  1. Do you have a clear mission? What community need will you be serving? Do you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish? What does success look like? 
  1. Who else is doing this in your community? What other organizations provide similar services or serve a similar constituency? Did you know there are over 4,000 nonprofits in the Pikes Peak region? What makes this mission and these services unique? Who is your charitable “competition” and/or partners? 
  1. What skills and expertise do you bring? Are you willing to make a full-time commitment? Have you considered the time commitment involved? Do you currently or have you worked/volunteered with a nonprofit organization in the past?
  1. Who will be on your board of directors? Do you have a diverse group of individuals committed to supporting the mission? What skills and expertise do these board members bring? Do these board members have experience with a start-up nonprofit?  Standards for Excellence ® and nonprofit best practices indicate board members should not be related to you or have financial ties to you or each other.
  1. What size budget will your organization have? Do you know the cost to start the organization? Do you know how much it will cost to operate and provide services in the first 1-3 years?
  1. What is your fundraising model? How will you keep the organization sustainable? Do you have a solid fundraising strategy? Did you know 69% of all charitable giving in 2021 was from individuals? Do you have individuals who will donate to the organization? How comfortable are you asking your friends and neighbors for money? Do you know of foundations, corporate philanthropic programs, or other groups that will support the mission with cash or in-kind donations?
  1. Are you certain starting a new 501(c)3 is the best way to solve issues and provide social change? Have you considered other alternatives to starting a nonprofit? Have you talked with other organizations about collaborating or volunteering? Have you considered identifying a fiscal sponsor or becoming a program of another organization? 

If you can answer all of these questions, then you may be ready to start a nonprofit.