How to Start a Nonprofit in New Mexico


Starting a nonprofit organization is a great way to give back to your community, but it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide will walk you through all the steps of starting a New Mexico-based nonprofit organization so that you can get started on your own philanthropic endeavour.

Create a Nonprofit Corporation

The first step to starting your nonprofit is to register the corporation. There are different ways to register:

  • Register it by yourself (if you’re an individual or a small group of people)
  • Hire a lawyer and have him or her do it for you, which will cost more than $1,000 depending on where you live but may be worth it if you don’t know what to do.
  • Register online through companies and registered agents.

Once your organization has been registered as a nonprofit corporation in New Mexico or any other state in the United States, then apply for tax-exempt status from the IRS

Appoint a Board of Directors

A Board of Directors is a group of interested individuals who volunteer their time to help run your organization. They must be able to do the following:

  • Understand and commit to the vision, mission and values of your nonprofit
  • Have good decision-making skills and be able to set clear goals for your organization
  • Be willing to take on new challenges, or go above and beyond in order to help make things happen when needed

The best way to find people who are willing to serve on your board is through networking. You should reach out by emailing friends and family members, posting information online (Facebook groups), meeting with local business owners and attending community events in order for them to get connected with you. Once you have a few potential candidates in mind, ask them about their availability for meetings and physically getting involved with running an organization like yours. Make sure that they understand what it means before accepting anyone’s offer!

Recruit Volunteers to Help Run the Organization

Once you have identified a group of people who are interested in your mission, it is time to get them involved. The first step is to identify what it will take for each person to help the organization succeed. This could include skills or resources that they have or can provide. For example, if someone has a background in finance and accounting, they might be asked to work on the nonprofit’s budgeting committee or help with fundraising efforts; if another person loves working with children and leading activities at community events, they may be asked to serve as one of your organization’s leaders or volunteers who greet visitors at events.

When recruiting volunteers for an organization, it is important that you identify those individuals who will be willing and able to commit specific amounts of their time each month—and then hold those volunteers accountable for fulfilling their commitments! It may also be helpful for you as an organization leader (or board member) to offer guidance about what tasks make sense for different types of volunteers based on their skill sets and interests so that everyone can feel like their contributions are valued by others

Apply for Tax-Exempt Status

You can apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, which is what most nonprofits will want. If you’re approved, you’ll receive a determination letter from the IRS that states your organization’s name, date of incorporation and purpose. Many organizations choose this route because it allows donors to deduct their contributions from their taxes and doesn’t require any special paperwork on your part—unless you plan on filing an annual report with the state or federal government. However, we recommend getting an EIN first so that if something goes wrong with your application later down the road, you’ll be able to continue operating as usual without worrying about losing access to funds until things get straightened out again.

Apply for Other Types of Tax Exemption

Once you’ve decided to start a nonprofit in New Mexico, you can request other types of tax exemptions by filing an application with the IRS. Some exemptions require additional documentation, such as 501(c)3 organizations that need to provide their Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws when they file for 501(c)3 status. You’ll also need to include your Form 1023 which requests tax-exempt status.

Other types of exemptions include:

  • Exemptions for religious organizations, such as churches and synagogues (IRC Section 501(c)(3));
  • Charitable institutions (IRC Section 501(c)(5));
  • Labour trusts or funds (IRC Section 501(c)(6)).

Register with the New Mexico Charitable Solicitations Division and Register for Federal Tax ID

Next, you’ll need to register with the New Mexico Charitable Solicitations Division if your organization is soliciting contributions. The state also requires that you register for a Federal Tax ID number and maintain a list of donors.

Find Money to Fund Your Nonprofit

  • Grants.

Nonprofits may apply for government grants through the federal government and many state governments. A grant is an award of money from a public agency or foundation that does not have to be repaid.

  • Donations.

Many people are willing to donate their time, skills and/or money to nonprofit organizations. You can reach out to individuals and businesses for donations of money or in-kind services such as printing, advertising, accounting or law firms’ time spent on your cause.

  • Sponsorships.

Find companies that support causes similar to yours and ask them if they’d be willing to sponsor an event or provide other types of financial assistance with fees waived or reduced on certain products sold by the company (such as tickets purchased online).

  • Corporate sponsorships.

Some companies choose nonprofit organizations as recipients of their charitable giving because it gives them a tax deduction while helping another organization achieve its goals; this type of donation often comes with no strings attached other than being named as a sponsor at an event which raises awareness about both parties’ missions – so it’s an easy way for both sides!


As you can see, there are many ways to support non-profit organizations and make a difference in the lives of those they serve. Whether you choose to volunteer your time or money, it is important to know where it will be going so you can feel confident that your donation will truly help those in need.

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