How to Start a Nonprofit in Nebraska


Starting a nonprofit in Nebraska can be a long and difficult process. However, if you carefully follow the steps listed here, you’ll have no trouble establishing your organization.

Pick a name.

  • Pick a name. It is important to choose a name that is not too similar to an existing nonprofit if you plan on starting one in the future. You should also pick a name that will be easy for donors and the public to remember, spell, and recognize. The most important thing about your organization’s name is that it must be available for trademarking as well as having no previous trademarks associated with it.

Form your board of directors.

The board of directors is the governing body of your nonprofit. Their function is to set policy for the organization, approve its strategic plan and budget, and oversee its operations. The officers are the chief executive officer (CEO), secretary, treasurer and any other titles the board may choose to give them. The executive director oversees staff who carry out daily tasks such as fundraising, accounting, development and operations. Volunteers perform many functions including serving on committees or boards; writing grants; mentoring new staff members; helping with programs offered by your organization; representing your organization at conferences or workshops; providing ideas for new projects that would help other people in need in your community or statewide (or nationwide). Members are people who have joined an organization because they believe in its mission!

Write the articles of incorporation.

  • Write the articles of incorporation.

As mentioned, your State will likely have all the templates you need to complete this step. You’ll be required to fill out a form with basic information about your nonprofit, including its name, address and purpose.

Apply for an employer’s identification number (EIN).

An EIN (employer identification number) is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to businesses. With an EIN, you can legally set up a business bank account and open lines of credit with vendors.

Why do you need one? Because it’s required by every state to start and operate as a nonprofit. However, some states will accept an IRS Determination Letter in lieu of an EIN if you don’t have one available for your organization at this point in time—New York is one such state; Washington DC is another example.

Register your nonprofit with the state of Nebraska.

Registering with the state of Nebraska is a great place to start if you’re unsure about how to go about starting a nonprofit in Nebraska. Registering is easy and allows you to prove that your organization has been approved by the state as a legally recognized non-profit entity. The process requires filling out some paperwork, including an application form and certificate of organization (a document stating that your organization has been approved).

File articles of incorporation.

The next step is to file articles of incorporation. This will register your nonprofit, and it also gives you an employer identification number (EIN), which you’ll need for tax purposes.

Once this is done, you can start connecting with other nonprofits in your area that might be interested in working together on projects or sharing resources like space or equipment. You’ll also want to start looking into getting 501(c)(3) status so that donors can claim their donations as tax deductions and state grants become available for funding new programs and initiatives.

Create rules and bylaws.

Now that you’ve determined how your nonprofit will be governed, it’s time to create the rules and bylaws. Rules and bylaws are essentially a list of guidelines that help an organization run smoothly. They include important information like how often meetings will take place and whether they’ll be open to the public, who gets to vote on decisions within the organization, what happens if someone quits or is fired (or resigns), etc.

You should create these rules before accepting any donations or other funds from the public so that there aren’t any surprises down the road when it comes time for your nonprofit to start operating as a business. One example of a rule might be “No employees can use company resources for personal gain.” This keeps employees from taking advantage of their positions in order to make more money on side projects outside of work hours at another job site—like working as Uber drivers while they’re supposed to be clocking hours at their day jobs!

Create a budget and file an annual report.

Creating a budget is one of the first steps you’ll want to take when starting a nonprofit. The budget will include information about where your organization will get its funds, how much money it needs, and what expenses need to be paid for by each source of funding. The budget is also used as a financial guide for future years.

For example, if you want to set up an annual fundraiser with a $1,000 cost of goods sold (COGS), but only raise half that amount in donations over the course of the year, then when preparing next year’s budget (and every year after) you’ll know that in order for your event to break even financially (or have any surplus at all), it must have more than $500 in COGS remaining after accounting for all donations received during that time period. In other words: If someone donates $100 directly into your PayPal account this month and another person gives another donation next month worth $50 through Amazon Smile—you still won’t gain anything because they’re both considered “donations.” This means we need one more type: charitable contributions!

Apply for tax-exempt status.

Before you can open a nonprofit in Nebraska, you’ll need to apply for tax-exempt status. You’ll be filing Form 1023.

While applying for tax-exempt status is important, it’s also important to get your nonprofit registered in Nebraska as well. You can do this by filling out Form #1101 and submitting it along with a copy of your federal tax return from the previous year.

Now that you know how to go about starting a nonprofit in Nebraska, you’re ready to get started!


You’ve now got all the information you need to get started on your new nonprofit organization. The process isn’t too difficult, but it does take time and patience. Remember to be patient with yourself as you go through this process—it may seem overwhelming at first, but soon enough it’ll become second nature!

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