Q: I am an African American woman and my business is Pillars of Dreams Inc., which is a nonprofit organization that provides permanent supportive housing for homeless and disadvantaged women and their minor children. My question is how does a nonprofit organization find the resources to start?
– S. Edwards, New York
A: I commend you for starting a nonprofit for such a worthy cause. The truth is there are many resources available to help you at every phase of building your organization.
The Foundation Center (www.foun dationcenter.org) is one of the best resources for getting started, finding donors, and acquiring information about nonprofits. The center, through its mission to strengthen the nonprofit sector, provides a comprehensive list of resources, including information on how to start a nonprofit, write grant proposals, form appropriate legal structures, meet IRS requirements, and more.
Another resource is your state charity registration office. Each state has an office that regulates charitable organizations and charitable solicitations. The National Association of State Charity Officials (www.nasconet.org) will help you file the appropriate forms to apply for nonprofit incorporation. In your case, the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau is responsible for supervising charitable organizations. Call 212-416-8400 for more information.