Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Setting up charities ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Setting up charities
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: dn999-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2004 16:58 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2004 16:58 PDT
Question ID: 400769
How do I set up a charity/non-profit in the state of California?  The
charity will receive contributions mostly from the US and will
disburse funds to other individuals or charities mostly outside the
Subject: Re: Setting up charities
Answered By: taxmama-ga on 22 Sep 2004 04:53 PDT
Dear dn999,

The book Andy recommended by NOLO Press should be very helpful. 

Sandy Deja, EA has created an excellent resource to walk you 
through the process of filling out the IRS Form 1023 package.

She tells you how to do it. When not to do it. 

There's a page by page guide to help you fill out the forms. 
Did I mention that it's free?

Once you've filled out all the information on the IRS Form 1023
(which is a booklet, really), you'll need to use that information
to fill out the California application, too. That is Form 3500,
also a booklet.

You'll find more information about California's requirements here:

Incidentally, let me save you a little bit of money. 
Don't file the forms to become a California corporation.

It's part of the Form 3500 set-up and will save you all the 
incorporation fees. 

But, yes, before you do anything, read the information on Sandy's
site. It will help you understand the pros and cons of operating 
a non-profit entity. 

IRS also set up an excellent resource about Charities you might like:,,id=122670,00.html

it also helps you through the thinking process, step-by-step.

One thing you'll need to understand before you embark on these 
applications - they require that you have a business plan and
a budget, and some idea of what your written material (brochures,
ads, etc.) will say. 

Incidentally, if you want to see live examples of charities'
articles, by-laws and tax returns, find a charity you like
here - and see their public filings:

Good luck!

Your TaxMama-ga

[Search strategy, I used the links I've built up over the years
within my own resource base.]
Subject: Re: Setting up charities
From: andyt-ga on 13 Sep 2004 17:07 PDT
If you're interested in doing it yourself, "How to Form a Nonprofit
Corporation" by Anthony Mancuso is a great book to check out:

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy