According to a report by the Department of Veteran Affairs, the United States has over 19 million living veterans as of this year. As such, there have been plenty of nonprofits nationwide that provide various assistance for our military veterans, from supporting the differently-abled to providing needed employment opportunities. If you are one of them and want to know how to start a nonprofit for veterans that help support our retired troops, read our guide and find out how!
Conduct Your Research
The first step in establishing your own nonprofit for veterans is to have a strategic plan defining what you want it to serve as. From all the existing nonprofits out there, identify those that are similar to what you are planning to start. What makes them stand out from the others with similar causes? Are there some gaps yet to be filled? The answer to these questions will help you refine your idea into something more unique and original, that strengthens the foundation of your nonprofit services for veterans.
Define Your Main Goal: Identify Your “Why”
After researching the existing ecosystem in your chosen field, consider what your veterans nonprofit will be for. When selecting a goal to start a nonprofit for veterans, define how your offerings will be different— whether your goal might be to provide support for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or assisting homeless or otherwise displaced individuals. Having a clear why will help further your plan to establish your organization. Additionally, establishing this helps build a solid foundation for charitable initiatives later on.
Get Started with Incorporation
Before you submit a nonprofit application, you might want to incorporate your organization. This would help when applying for tax-exempt status. Also, by incorporating, you open the space for opportunities to more grants for nonprofit veterans organizations in the future.
In doing so, here are some of the essential steps:
- Choose a legally available business name in your state.
- Prepare and file your articles of incorporation.
- Appoint your board of directors.
- Hold your first board of directors meeting.
- Create bylaws that indicate how your organization operates.
If you need professional help with incorporating your nonprofit for veterans, look for options that offer convenient payment options and comprehensive support. Learn about how BryteBridge Nonprofit can help you handle your state incorporation needs.
Register for Nonprofit Status
After handling your incorporation, it’s now time to obtain an EIN from the IRS for your tax-exempt status application. Once done, you can now apply for the 501(c)(3) if you are planning to be a charitable veterans’ nonprofit.
Having a tax-exempt status can significantly help with your plan to start a nonprofit for veterans, and 501(c)(3) allows that tax deduction on donor donations, as well as exemption from sales and property tax. BryteBridge Nonprofit can help you get up to speed with your 501(c)(3) application so you can then proceed with funding and grants for nonprofit veterans organizations.
Identify Your Funding Sources
Funding your veterans’ nonprofit for the long run is no small feat, therefore having an appropriate source of funding will help keep your organization afloat. You may start to consider grants for nonprofit veterans organizations. There are a lot of foundations and grantors available that provide funding to organizations that serve veterans. Many of them require a 501(c)(3) nonprofit classification, which is what our previous step has covered.
Networking is also a good idea to find people willing to fund your nonprofit. You can reach out to your immediate community as a start. There are both people and organizations alike willing to provide funding and get involved in supporting this community. Some even offer professional fundraising support to help you get access to relevant fundraising sources.
Reach Out to the Veteran Community
The final step would be to get the name of your nonprofit out there. Through regular advertising via online, print ads, or networking events, you can easily attract attention for your organization. Start by reaching out to the veteran community in your area. With more visibility comes more charitable donor contributions that can help you grow with nonprofit solutions. And don’t forget about the amazing and passionate volunteers who care about the same cause to help mobilize your goals while you are still starting!
In learning how to start a nonprofit for veterans, you deserve to be proud of the difference you’re about to make. Now it’s time for us to help you hit the ground running! Save yourself valuable hours without doing all the heavy lifting when you work with our nonprofit experts at BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions.