How to Start a Nonprofit in Maryland
you dedicated and passionate about certain causes that affect you and your
community? Are you highly organized and
ready to put in the time, effort, and money to give even more back to your
community? You might be ready to
consider starting a nonprofit organization.
this guide, starting a nonprofit means that you want to form a 501(c)(3)
public charity. The websites below will
assist you in starting a nonprofit in Maryland, or to find alternatives to
starting a nonprofit.
Before starting a nonprofit, do your homework:
- Nonprofit Research: Before starting the
steps and paying the fees to start a nonprofit, search through Guidestar’s
nonprofit organization search and identify similar nonprofits in your
- Have a purpose: Every
nonprofit should have a purpose, and this is done with a mission
statement. There is no set formula for writing
a mission statement, but Idealist.org has an article on what a mission statement should say.
- Become familiar with the
start-up steps: Checklist
for Starting a Nonprofit in Maryland. Maryland
Nonprofits made a checklist that goes over the nine phases in starting a
nonprofit in Maryland.
If you find that there are other nonprofits already doing what you
want to do, here are a few suggestions:
- Volunteer or work for an existing nonprofit that shares your
- Find a nonprofit with a similar mission that will act as
your fiscal sponsor. This arrangement may help you become eligible for more
funding opportunities without needing to obtain your own exempt status.
- Start a for-profit, small business.
form a nonprofit?
Learn how to form a Maryland nonprofit at the Maryland Charitable Organization Division. Information on registering a charity which includes the Registration
Statement for Charitable Organizations (COR-92) and Annual Update charity forms
a Board of Directors includes information on board structure, board officers, and board
- Complete and File Form 1023 for federal tax exemption.
- Fill out Articles
of Incorporation for a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation. The fill-in-the-blank form is filled out for Maryland
state tax exemption.
- Apply for an Employer
Identification Number (EIN).The EIN is similar to a Social
Security Number, but it is for your nonprofit organization.
continue to find the information needed to start and run a nonprofit
If you want to seek out donations regionally or nationally, file the
Unified Registration Statement from National Association of State Charities Officials.
Center’s Nonprofit Startup Resources by State provides links to
helpful state and national resources such as the Harbor Business Compliance's How to Start a Non-Profit Organization in Maryland, nonprofit associations, legal support
organizations and government agencies.
How Do I
Start a Nonprofit Organization includes online training
and websites about nonprofit start-up.
& Associates’ Nonprofit
Law Resource Library includes information on
nonprofit start-up issues, state filing and compliance, state statutes,
international activities, governance and board questions, mergers and affiliations,
nonprofit entrepreneurship, and charitable contributions.
Community Law Center, a nonprofit law firm, provides legal services throughout Maryland to promote stronger nonprofits and more vibrant neighborhoods.
If You Need More Help
Contact us through our Ask A Librarian Service, call (410-396-5321), or write:
Science and History Department
Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
Or, if you are outside of Maryland, contact your local library.