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Starting a Nonprofit

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

What Else Can You Do?

You have reviewed the questions before you begin, and maybe you aren't quite ready to start a nonprofit.  What else can you do? Here are some alternatives you may wish to consider.

  • Volunteer: There are plenty of organizations that could use your help.  You will be giving back to the community, while gaining a better understanding of how a nonprofit works.
  • Become a program of another nonprofit: Review the Colorado Nonprofit Association Member Directory for agencies in the area that provide similar services as your vision.  Contact them about what you are interested in providing.  See if they would be interested in partnering with you to expand their services to include your idea.
  • Consider starting a chapter for a national organization: Explore national organizations that impact the area you wish to serve.  See if they have a local chapter.  If not, contact the headquarters to find out if they are interested in starting a local chapter in the area.

Social Enterprise

The Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) embraces businesses that merge mission and margin, purpose and profit. This movement within business seeks to create social and environmental impact through the powerful economic engine of capitalism. This movement is reshaping the economy, capitalism, businesses and nonprofits. This model offers businesses the opportunity to actively engage in creating value that goes beyond the bottom line. This business model is usually a better fit for those who want to give back to their community without giving up control of the organization.  CI4SI offers a monthly Introduction to Social Impact, along with some other trainings.  More information on the various social enterprise models and class times can be found at

Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal sponsorship is a way to test out your program idea without fully committing to creating your own nonprofit.  Below are two articles that define what fiscal sponsorship is, along with the pros and cons.