How to Start a Children's Charity

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Creating a children's charity, also known as a nonprofit organization, requires a vision of how you see your charity helping children in some unique or much-needed way. Once you have a vision, you'll need to be comfortable raising money to reach your charity's goal. One of the main keys to the success of your charity lies in establishing a complete business plan, then following that plan to reach your goals and expectations.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Pen
  • Create a mission statement. Develop a short statement consisting of a few sentences that clearly defines the purpose and goals of your children's charity. Make sure the mission statement explains the benefits the organization will provide. Use the mission statement to get others involved in your organization.

  • Find qualified people to form a board of directors. The people you choose should be dedicated and willing to help you achieve the charity's goals. Look for people who offer skills associated with the charity. The people you choose should also be able to contribute money and help raise money to help the charity.

  • Develop and register with the approved state agency board bylaws and policies that explain your organization's operations and daily activities. Make sure you include language that makes the charity completely responsible for all assets, properties and liabilities.

  • Develop a budget for the fiscal year, and include all costs for programs and services, along with all of the revenue the organization expects to receive to keep the charity going. Your final budget needs to receive approval from your board of directors.

  • Put in place systems that track everything your charity does, including accounting, finances and operations. Use a computerized record-keeping system to make the job easier and more thorough. While the laws vary by state, you will be required to keep financial statements and minutes from the board of directors meetings in the system.

  • Establish a 501(c)(3) organization so your children's charity can accept tax-deductible contributions and apply for grants. Download the Application for Recognition of Exemption from the Internal Revenue Service website. Fill out the form, and plan to include the information gathered in the previous steps to complete the application. Once you mail in the completed application, expect the IRS to take up to six months to grant approval.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hire an attorney who is familiar with nonprofit organizations and how to set them up.
  • Consider inviting an attorney to be part of your board of directors.
  • Before you accept donations or hold fundraisers for your charity, make sure you get approval to become a 501(c)(3) organization from the IRS.

References

  • Photo Credit silhouetted children image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com
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