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Start a Small Nonprofit

Express 501(c)(3) helps small nonprofits get off-the-ground and start achieving their desired impact in days, not months.

About
IRS Changes Make Express 501(c)(3) Possible

Changes to the 501(c)(3) application process by the IRS in mid-2014 opened the door to a more streamlined method for small nonprofits to seek 501(c)(3) status.  It is now possible for qualifying organizations to file a considerably abbreviated application, resulting in a quicker turnaround, often within 2-6 weeks.

This streamlined process requires less information up-front, reducing the amount of time and effort required to put together the final filing package.  And while the need for strict compliance with IRS requirements is the same, the administrative element of getting off the ground has been significantly reduced.

Professional Expertise at a Better-Than Document Prep Price

With our new Express service, you will log into your account on our site and answer some basic questions about your new nonprofit.  Our team of experts will review your information and alert you to any questions or compliance concerns we may have.

You will then be provided with incorporation documents ready-to-file, followed by your IRS 501(c)(3) application package, fully ready for IRS e-file.

The comparable document preparation service at LegalZoom® will cost you as much as $1,303, without the benefit of nonprofit tax specialists working your case.  We can provide you with true, professional expertise at a lower price because our systems have been proven with thousands upon thousands of clients.

How It Works
Step 1:  Get qualified.

The IRS introduced a simplified, streamlined 501(c)(3) process in 2014 for those organizations that qualify.  But, not everyone does.

This new, faster method for getting 501(c)(3) status is limited to certain, small nonprofits with under $50,000 in annual gross revenue.  Other restrictions apply, too.

So, how do you know if you qualify?  Learn more here!

Step 2:  Tell us what you’re doing.

Now that you’re qualified, it’s time to share your vision.

We will create an online account for you on our client portal, where you can log in and tell us all about your plans.  Our interview questionnaires are super easy to complete, and will provide us with exactly the information we need to get your nonprofit set up.

It’s simple and straightforward.  So far, so good!

Step 3:  We put it all together.

This is where our experts really shine!

We’ll go to work, putting together all the necessary paperwork and electronic filings for state incorporation and IRS 501(c)(3) status.  The heavy lifting is on us, not you.

Once our work is complete, we’ll notify you that everything is ready in your secure account, so you can log in and follow our easy, step-by-step instructions.

You can trust our team to make it simple and straightforward!

Step 4:  You celebrate success!

Once the IRS comes back with your approval as a 501(c)(3), it’s time to celebrate success!  What was once a dream is now official…an IRS-approved, 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

More importantly, it’s time to put action to your vision and impact your community for good.

Are you ready?

Let’s do this!

$600

*Price does not include state and federal filing fees.

The Express 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Formation Plan

All the elements needed to launch a nonprofit organization:

  • Federal EIN number
  • State incorporation (including Articles of Incorporation and draft bylaws)
  • IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
  • Always fast and affordable

Find out if your nonprofit qualifies for Express 501(c)(3)!

Click the button to the right to take the IRS 29-question self-evaluation.  At the end, you can choose to purchase now, or request a conversation with a Foundation Group professional.

Let's Talk About Your Nonprofit!

Please fill out the contact form and we will get in touch with you shortly.  The more information you provide, the better equipped our team specialist will be to answer your specific questions.

And, you have our SPAM-FREE Guarantee.  Your information is always safe with us!

Is Express 501(c)(3) Right for You?

The answer depends.  For some, this level of service is the perfect fit.  For others, they need a more hands-on, consultative approach like that provided by our flagship services, SureStart™ or SureStart Lite™.  Let’s explore what makes for a good match.

Your Nonprofit's Budget

Money matters.  To use our Express 501(c)(3) plan (and IRS Form 1023-EZ), your nonprofit must project less than $50,000 in annual gross revenue (or less than $50,000 in gross revenue the past 3 years).  In addition, your organization must not have assets that have a combined fair-market-value of $250,000 or greater.

Your Nonprofit's Purpose

Not all charity purposes qualify.  For example, churches cannot use this process.  Neither can schools nor financial counseling nonprofits.  Other purposes are disallowed, as well.

Your Nonprofit's Activities

Sometimes your general purpose is OK, but you have specific activities that prevent you from using this process.  For more specific information about budget, purpose, and activity limitations, read:  Who Is Eligible to File Form 1023-EZ?

Your Plans to Pursue Grant Funding

Prior to IRS Form 1023-EZ, all nonprofits seeking 501(c)(3) status had to use the standard version of Form 1023.  Including the required supplemental attachments, 501(c)(3) applications easily reach 100 pages.  Your application, once approved by the IRS, becomes public record, and may be sought for review by potential grant funders.  More importantly, because of the perceived lack of thorough compliance vetting by the IRS, many grant-making foundations are disallowing grant applications by small charities that used the streamlined process to obtain 501(c)(3) status.

What does this mean to you?  If your nonprofit ever plans to seek grant funding, we recommend using the standard 501(c)(3) application process, and not Form 1023-EZ.

Your Need for Advice and Counsel

Assuming you meet the qualifications above, there’s one more thing to consider:  Your need for consultation.  Are you already fairly knowledgeable about nonprofit compliance?  Do you know “how” and “what” you plan to do and are you willing to trade time with a consultant for a lower price and faster process?  Are you all about “just getting it done?”  If this describes you, our Express 501(c)(3) service may be perfect for you.

Express 501(c)(3) Service vs. our Flagship Service, SureStart™
  • choose your plan

    ...Hover for item details

  • Name AvailabilityVerification that your desired corporate name is available in your stateName Availability
  • Articles of IncorporationSometimes called a Charter, this is the document that establishes your nonprofit corporation. We prepare your Articles for you to file with your state.Articles of Incorporation
  • Draft BylawsYour bylaws dictate how your nonprofit will be governed. We prepare IRS compliant, initial bylaws that are best suited to your unique needs. Or, if you already have bylaws, we will review for compliance and advise/amend at your direction.Draft Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest PolicyThe IRS requires 501(c)(3) organizations to have a policy that dictates how its leadership will manage conflict-of-interest.Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Federal EINThis is your federal identification number, much like a Social Security number is for an individual. It is a requirement for all business entities, other than Sole ProprietorshipsFederal EIN
  • IRS 501(c)(3) StatusApproaching 20,000 IRS approvals with 100% success, since 1995IRS 501(c)(3) Status
  • IRS Approval GuaranteeWe represent your case while it's under IRS review and provide a money-back guarantee of 501(c)(3) approval. With our 100% IRS success rate, we've never had to make good on it!IRS Approval Guarantee
  • Personal Exemption SpecialistIMPORTANT! Every SureStart client is assigned to one our nonprofit experts, who will dive deep into your plans, and work with you to establish your nonprofit according to compliant, best practice.Personal Exemption Specialist
  • Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax SpecialistFoundation Group is the only non-CPA specialty service provider for nonprofit formation services that legally offers tax advice. Our team is led by an IRS-credentialed Enrolled Agent, who works to ensure federal and state tax compliance for all SureStart clients. We represent your case under IRS power of attorney (if required), assuring your success.Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax Specialist
  • Personal Compliance SpecialistOnce your nonprofit is formed, our Compliance team takes over to keep your organization in total compliance with state and federal requirements.Personal Compliance Specialist
  • State Tax ExemptionCRITICAL! Many states' Division of Taxation requires nonprofits to obtain a state equivalent to IRS 501(c)(3) status in order to be corporate tax exempt. California and Texas are especially complex in this regard.State Tax Exemption
  • State Fundraising RegistrationCRITICAL! The vast majority of states require 501(c)(3) organizations to register with the Division of Charities prior to seeking donor support or initiating other revenue generating activities.State Fundraising Registration
  • IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)CRITICAL! Equivalent to a corporate tax return for nonprofits, Form 990 must be filed annually by all 501(c) organizations. Failure to file can result in having your nonprofit's 501(c)(3) status revoked.IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)
  • Sales Tax ExemptionMany states allow charitable organizations to be exempt from paying sales taxes on purchases. For those states which do, we prepare the applications for you.Sales Tax Exemption
  • Kindful Fundraising SoftwareThrough our partnership with Kindful, all SureStart clients get one year of complementary access to their best-in-class donor management platform (a $1,200 value).Kindful Fundraising Software
  • Ongoing ConsultationOne year of access to our consulting staff by appointment or online message centerOngoing Consultation
  • Budget

  • Express

    Annual Budgets Under $50k

  • Name Availability
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Draft Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Federal EIN
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Status
  • IRS Approval GuaranteeWhen purchased with optional Audit Protection +$50Available
  • Personal Exemption Specialist
  • Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax Specialist
  • Personal Compliance Specialist
  • State Tax Exemption
  • State Fundraising Registration
  • IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)
  • Sales Tax Exemption
  • Kindful Fundraising Software
  • Ongoing Consultation
  • Basics

  • SureStart Lite

  • Name Availability
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Draft Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Federal EIN
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Status
  • IRS Approval Guarantee
  • Personal Exemption Specialist
  • Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax Specialist
  • Personal Compliance Specialist
  • State Tax Exemption
  • State Fundraising Registration
  • IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)
  • Sales Tax Exemption
  • Kindful Fundraising Software
  • Ongoing Consultation
  • Recommended

  • SureStart

    Total Compliance Solution

  • Name Availability
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Draft Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Federal EIN
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Status
  • IRS Approval Guarantee
  • Personal Exemption Specialist
  • Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax Specialist
  • Personal Compliance Specialist
  • State Tax Exemption
  • State Fundraising Registration
  • IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)
  • Sales Tax Exemption
  • Kindful Fundraising Software
  • Ongoing Consultation
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Free eBook Download!
Successfully Starting a New Nonprofit
  • Defining Your Nonprofit's Purpose
  • Nonprofit Ownership
  • Board of Directors
  • Executive Compensation
  • Fundraising & Compliance Basics
Start a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
Introducing the SureStart nonprofit formation system.
Cost-Effective. Turnkey. Guaranteed!

Don’t compromise your vision. Discover just what you can accomplish with the right assistance!
Free eBook Download!
Understanding IRS Form 990
  • What is this Filing?
  • Which Version do I File?
  • When is it Due?
  • And Much More!
Free eBook Download!
Understanding Charitable Solicitations
  • What is this Filing?
  • Who Requires It?
  • Website Donations
  • And Much More!