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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Looking to become a non-profit service

    I have been looking into what it takes to start a non-profit organization. I would like to offer my web design services to the web 'needy'. However, it seems quite a tedious task, one that I am not really willing to undertake, to file ofr 501(c)(3) status.

    I would do this as 'volunteer' work, but I need to take in a nominal fee for resource/capital purchases.

    I am looking for a simple way to start a small non-profit, not even necessarily organization, if it can be run similar to a sole proprietorship.



    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I may accomplish this?


    Pertinent information:
    - I am a United States Citizen residing in the state of Alaska
    - I would not pay myself
    - I would be the only person running hte operation
    - My services would go toward nonprofit services such as educational, charitable or religious organizations
    - Clients would be charged a substancially reduced, or free rate
    - I do need a business liscense (or equivalent) in order to bill clients and use a business name for my entity on financial records
    - This is NOT my primary line of business as far as income would be concerned.
    Gavin Northey
    Wonderful Web Pages
    http://www.wonderfulweb.net

  2. #2
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    Houston, Tejas; Future Capital of the World
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    To be a non-profit requires all the 501c3 junk you took a look at, no ifs and or buts about it.

    But you can start a sole proprietership and run it at a loss, i.e. charge only what is needed and do not pay yourself. Then you declare in your tax statements for the business what it should have cost, and thus you have a loss which will negate much of your taxes.

    The best thing to do is go see an accountant to set up the whole shebang for you. Heck, even the accountants fees are tax deductable.
    Brian Poirier
    SunStockPhoto: Stock Photos, Fine Art Photos, Event Photography

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    I am wondering if you could make an agreement with a local non-profit that engage in community building services to provide your services on a volunteer basis. I don't know if you need to do that much if you're volunteering for non-profit charities and religious institutions in the first place. I'd see a qualified CPA about this.

    Good Luck!

    ~~Hope This Helps

  4. #4
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Setting up the sole-proprietorship with losses is a good idea, but it would only work for a few years. As far as I understand, in order to maintain business status, you must make a profit 2-3 years out of 5, otherwise you'll be considered a hobbyist. Of course, there are ways to get around everything.

    Your best bet would be to meet with your accountant.

    By the way, good luck with your venture! Its nice to see someone lending a helping hand.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast RedFish's Avatar
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    Check out nPower.org - they offer a much broader array of services for non-profits than what you're talking about doing, but they might have some good suggestions for you. And they're non-profit themselves. I know they're looking to take their model to other places in the US, so maybe you could help them get started in Alaska!

    Also, you might want to approach one of the larger multi-service non-profits in your area or the United Way, and see if you can be affiliated with them. Use them for the non-profit tax status and also leverage their contacts to generate business. In effect you would become one of their programs. You would lose some self-control over the business, but it all depends on what you want to concentrate on - running a business by yourself or providing this service to charitable organizations.

    Good luck! It's great that you want to give to your community in this way. I don't know how much experience you have with non-profits, but I worked for a large non-profit in Seattle for over 4 years, so PM me if you want more insight into that world.
    RedFish

  6. #6
    Non-Member
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    Setting up a 503c is a pain and lots of paperwork. Why don't you just contact your United Way office and see what non-profits can use your assistance?

    You can even ask for ad's in their newsletter or on the site to your site in return for some type of payment.


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