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SureStart™ Nonprofit Formation Plan

The Expertise You Need to Get Your Nonprofit Off to the Right Start

We created the SureStart system to give you the essential services you need to start your nonprofit…all provided by licensed tax professionals and customized to your unique organization.  We’re serious about your success!

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About SureStart
Start a Nonprofit, the SureStart Way

What if you could ensure that your nonprofit was set up from day one with a rock-solid foundation? We have developed a unique, consultative approach designed to incorporate your nonprofit, secure 501(c)(3) status and help you achieve long-term success.

It’s not just document preparation…frankly, lots of people can fill out forms. Starting a successful nonprofit requires much more than that.  We deeply engage with you, helping you to structure your nonprofit the right way, so that you accomplish your mission and avoid the pitfalls.

Trust Our Team of Career Nonprofit Experts

Starting a nonprofit is complicated.  Many business plans we hear sound great, but need considerable work to be truly ready-to-launch.  You need seasoned professionals to take your vision and help you mold it into a nonprofit entity that is fully IRS-compliant, properly structured, and ready to maximize impact.

Get a head-start on success:  Our experts dig deep with you to understand your program, identify opportunities, risks, and areas of concern, then put together the necessary documents and applications that accurately represent your vision. Plus, because our firm is led by an IRS-credentialed Enrolled Agent, you can have the comfort of knowing that qualified, licensed tax professionals are on the case.

OUR GUARANTEE:  Your 501(c)(3) application will be IRS approved, or your money back!

Client Feedback
Every person from the front desk to the compliance team are the greatest. They genuinely care about each client and having them endure a smooth experience. If you want things done right with encouragement and support look no further! The best place!!!!!!
Heather Young
Heather Young
20:30 25 Feb 20
If you are considering starting a nonprofit this is the group I would recommend. Very helpful and knowledgeable in all aspects of their services.
Chris LeMay
Chris LeMay
14:15 11 Feb 20
I am a business manager and have a client desiring to set up a Private Foundation. I initially searched for an attorney to assist with the set up and to help with the IRS exemption application. The costs, however, were prohibitive: I had quotes from two different attorneys with minimum fees of $15,000. I discovered Foundation Group in a Google search. I contacted them and their fees for far more reasonable and they were genuinely interested in providing assistance. This company is great. They have nailed it. The entire process of working with them is efficient and super organized. They have intake interviews that facilitate the entire process. And their web-based approach, where you have a dashboard with a task list, etc., works great. Everything is super organized, user-friendly and they are quite responsive. They clearly are experts at this and I am so thankful that I discovered them. I am recommending them to all of my colleagues. We will use them to also prepare the 990 tax returns and for any consulting. I give them an enthusiastic 5 stars.
William Jaaskela
William Jaaskela
18:09 22 Jan 20
They know what they are doing and get the job done in record time.
We had a great experience with the foundation group. Things progressed exactly as we were told, and we even received our exemption status faster than expected. Everyone was knowledgable and friendly. Communication through their site is very simple. No complaints.
Sara Baker
Sara Baker
16:55 01 Dec 19
I decided to try and start a 501c3 organization (Vets for Veteran Housing and Services) on my own. Once I looked into the process, I was overwhelmed by the complexity of all the forms and in-depth information that is required. I knew that I needed help. I researched who would be the best to help me achieve my goal. The Foundation Group kept coming up as #1. after making contact, and explaining my goals, every member of their co. gave me the assurance that everything would be attained. All my anxiety, about going through this process was immediately gone. Every single team member guided me through and explained every detail in a soothing and calm way as to allow my anxiety and my blood pressure to return to NORMAL. Within 5 months we received our certification from the IRS. and I was again overwhelmed!! but this time with excitement and joy!!! There was no way that I could have done this on my own. If you are looking to organize a 501c3, you do not have to go any further then contacting THE FOUNDATION GROUP. you will never be disappointed.
Herbert Suydan
Herbert Suydan
14:56 27 Nov 19
Yes, I've with them for years. Just updating info.
These folks are kind, knowledgeable and respectful. Even the sales pitch was welcoming. I really loved working with Nicolas and Aaron, they really worked hard (I could tell) to understand me, my experience and what my unique nonprofit is about. I have already recommended them to my friends and colleagues and I am super grateful to my assistant Tanya K. for suggesting them. If you can find the funds to hire them, I really suggest you do.
Alfiee Breland-Noble
Alfiee Breland-Noble
14:53 15 Oct 19
Setting up a 501c3 is a daunting undertaking that requires a LOT of patience and drive. The Foundation Group came highly recommended to us from a friend and they did not disappoint! From the very first contact, their staff were amazing. The knowledge, willingness to teach, guide, encourage and push at times through the process was refreshing, and although they have many clients, we never felt ignored or "just another number". They listened to our vision and mission and made sure that everything we did was in compliance with the legal requirements, while staying true to our vision. We cannot say enough thank yous to the team and if you are looking to set up a 501c3...or even just need advice about one you already have, we are confident that they can help you figure anything out.Well worth the investment.
One In A Million Inc.
One In A Million Inc.
15:16 08 Oct 19
I must say the Foundation Group staff made everything easy and walked me through everything I needed during this process. I am impressed and very happy with the results because now our organization is 501c3 tax exempt and about to be legal to solicit in our state of operation. I recommend their services to anyone who's looking to start their nonprofit.
Yusuf Abdul-Alim - Rodrick Washington
Yusuf Abdul-Alim - Rodrick Washington
15:48 28 Sep 19
Foundation group is an amazing service. They communicated every step of the way during the process. Answered all questions to make the end goal a reality. I would recommend Foundation Group to any person looking for the correct company to help meet their goals is form and build successfully.
Joseph Jenkins
Joseph Jenkins
02:09 28 Sep 19
The Foundation Group help set up our not for profit in a way that we have been able to get off the ground quickly and effectively. We have been able to get a number of grants, which have required the kind of documentation and sound governance and financial policies that the Foundation group helped us establish from the outset. They are also affordable. Highly recommend them.
Ernie Fletcher
Ernie Fletcher
19:43 16 Sep 19
Many thanks to the Foundation Group in a successful bid to attain our not-for-profit status for our charitable organization. The process was well defined and each person that I had interaction with, at the Foundation Group, was knowledgeable, professional, and made me feel confident in the process. I really appreciate all they did for me and our organization.
Kathy Rushworth
Kathy Rushworth
21:29 14 Sep 19
I cannot begin to explain how awesome the Foundation Group has been to work with. When we had our initial consultation I was a little skeptical. They talked about all of the things they’d do to make this process easy and simple for us. Told us how their support system worked, how quickly they’d respond to questions, etc. All I can say is they’re selling theirselves short. This organization went above and beyond from day one to make our application process a smooth endeavor. Lauren was awesome to work with and answered every question I had (I had plenty). She walked me through every step, spent a lot of time with me to establish our budget, defined every step that was required next and made sure we had it right. Needless to say with all of their help we were approved the first time we applied and are now off and running. Thank you to the Foundation Group for making this a pleasant experience. We really appreciate your efforts and will be glad to share our experience with anyone looking to obtain their 501C3.
Sara Springer
Sara Springer
19:44 13 Sep 19
My experience with Foundation Group has been great. The process was easy to follow and they were always there to answer questions. They shared advice that was pertinent with what we are doing. I felt as if I was in great hands the whole process. They were very encouraging during the process which is the main reason why I have recommended the Foundation Group to others.
Phillip Stumpf
Phillip Stumpf
18:57 12 Sep 19

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Let's Talk About Your Nonprofit!

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How It Works

Every SureStart startup engagement provides essential solutions for your startup nonprofit, including:

Personal Exemption Specialist

Expertise matters!  That’s why every SureStart client is paired with one of our in-house Nonprofit Exemption Specialists, who is an expert in the particular type of organization you are starting.  They will dive deep into your plans, and work with you to establish your nonprofit according to compliant, best practice.

Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax Specialists

Credentials matter, too!  Foundation Group is the only non-CPA/non-attorney specialty firm in America providing true tax advice and counsel for nonprofits.  Our team is led by an IRS-licensed Enrolled Agent, ensuring federal and state tax compliance for all SureStart clients.

Name Availability

Your nonprofit’s name is your brand.  We research name availability in your state, prior to incorporation, so that you can secure the name you most want or the closest variant possible.

Federal EIN

We apply for your required Federal Employer Identification Number, or FEIN, which is the numeric identifier assigned to your nonprofit by the IRS.  It is similar to how a Social Security identifies an individual.

Articles of Incorporation

Sometimes called a Charter, this is the document that legally establishes your nonprofit corporation in your chosen home state.  Your date of incorporation is usually considered the official, legal birthday of your nonprofit.  We prepare your Articles of Incorporation for you to file with your state’s Corporations Office.

Bylaws

Your bylaws are one of your most important legal documents.  They dictate how your nonprofit will be governed by its board of directors. We prepare state- and IRS-compliant, draft 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.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The IRS requires 501(c)(3) organizations to have a policy that dictates how its leadership will manage conflict-of-interest.  We provide an IRS-approved Conflict of Interest Policy that is plug-and-play ready, and will help your leadership avoid unnecessary problems.

IRS 501(c)(3) Status

This is where it all comes together!  We prepare your IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exemption application and represent it while under IRS review.  We’re approaching 20,000 IRS approvals with 100% success, since 1995.  Your success is money-back guaranteed!

State Fundraising Registration*

The vast majority of states require nonprofits to register with their Division of Charities prior to seeking donor support or initiating other revenue generating activities.  Our Compliance Team works with you to get you registered in your home state, unlocking your ability to raise the funds you need.

State Tax Exemption*

Some 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.  We work with you to apply for and receive state exemption where necessary.

IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)*

Equivalent to a corporate tax return for nonprofits, IRS Form 990 must be filed annually by all 501(c)(3) organizations. Failure to file can result in having your nonprofit’s 501(c)(3) status revoked.  All SureStart clients can rest assured, knowing their first year’s Form 990 preparation is included in their startup package.

Ongoing Consultation*

SureStart clients are provided one year of ongoing access to our consulting staff by appointment or online message center.  Get the answers you need to make better decisions, reduce risk, and grow your organization.

*SureStart Complete only.  See chart below for details.

Choose the Plan That's Right For You
  • SureStart Levels

    ...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
  • Personal Exemption SpecialistEvery 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
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Status (Guaranteed!)Approaching 20,000 IRS approvals with 100% success, since 1995IRS 501(c)(3) Status (Guaranteed!)
  • 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)
  • Ongoing ConsultationOne year of access to our consulting staff by appointment or online message centerOngoing Consultation
  • Core

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

    Total Compliance Solution

  • Name Availability
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Draft Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Federal EIN
  • Personal Exemption Specialist
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Status (Guaranteed!)
  • Oversight by IRS-Licensed Tax Specialist
  • Personal Compliance Specialist
  • State Tax Exemption
  • State Fundraising Registration
  • IRS Form 990 Preparation (1st Year)
  • Ongoing Consultation
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Before you go, get a free copy of our helpful e-book...
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!