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How to Obtain Nonprofit Status

Most grantmakers require proof of an organization’s nonprofit (501(c)(3)) status before considering them for funding. Incorporating as a 501(c)(3) organization in Illinois requires getting tax-exempt status from the IRS and incorporating as an Illinois nonprofit organization. Visit the IRS webpage for charities and nonprofits at for information and forms. A Guide for Organizing Not-for-Profit Corporations can be downloaded from the Illinois Secretary of State’s business services webpage; the library has a copy at REF/346.064/GUIDE. A helpful Checklist for Illinois Charitable Organizations can be found on the Illinois Attorney General’s Office website.
Grantspace’s page on “Establishing a Nonprofit Organization,” includes practical information on nonprofit status, board development and staff recruitment, along with links to sample bylaws and budgets. Finally, the library has many books cataloged under the subject “nonprofit management” that can help you start your organization.

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