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Top 50 Resources for Starting Your Own Charity or Scholarship

scholarshipsCharities and scholarships are usually created solely on one’s passion to help others or a life experience that has inspired them to provide aid to others in the same situation. With an outpouring of individuals wanting to start charitable organizations that can make the world a better place, it is important to do your research. Starting a nonprofit organization can be both fulfilling and exciting, but it also requires an extreme amount of focus and planning. Even though you are not starting this foundation for monetary purposes, it is still necessary to equip yourself with a support system that will start you on the road to success. The below resources can give you the basic advice and principles needed to get you established.


There are huge amounts of articles out there on starting a charitable foundation. The one’s we have listed are provided free of cost. heart How to Start a Charity – Starting a charitable organization may provide assistance to members of your community or even individuals in any part of the world. This article will help you to determine the needs of the individuals you are interested in helping.
    2. 501(c)(3) – To Be or Not to Be? – For most just starting, the process of forming a nonprofit corporation can be confusing. To help decipher some of these issues, attorney Anthony Mancuso has written a step by step manual to lay out the general foundation of a nonprofit incorporation.
    3. How to Start a Scholarship Foundation – Specific criteria for receiving individual scholarships can differ depending on geographic areas, areas of study and schools of choice. Read this article to set up a private scholarship foundation.
    4. Tech News – Enhancing Human Services through Technology is written for human service organizations. It contains many articles on the topic of how nonprofit organization can use computer technologies.
    5. Grant Writing Basics – Learn about grants and how money is given to a nonprofit organization or individual, which does not have to be paid back if the terms of the agreements are followed. Find out about what grants your charity might qualify for.
    6. How To Start A Charity: The Legal Requirements – If you want to start a charity, you will need to do your homework and see what all the authorities have to say in the matter, before starting a charity. Here is an article that details the steps you will need to follow.
    7.charitable organizations Nonprofit Organizations: Should You Incorporate? – Many owners of nonprofit organizations struggle over the decision of whether or not to incorporate. It is not required for a nonprofit organization to incorporate, but in some situations, it is advisable.
    8. Writing a Mission Statement – This article will give you great tips on writing a mission statement. Writing a good, succinct, and clear mission statement is not too hard but it does take a lot of thought and consideration.
    9. Name Requirements for Nonprofit Organizations – With every new nonprofit organization that pops up, another name is taken. Since trademark laws are very restrictive, you need this article to help you in the struggle.
    10. Considering Nonprofit Management Consulting? Ways to Choose and Engage Effective Nonprofit Consultants Educate yourself on how consultants help nonprofits, simple steps to creating a successful nonprofit project, and tips for conducting your consultant search. This article will help you to pin point your desired goals.
    11. How to Establish an Endowment for a Nonprofit – A nonprofit organization should have an endowment fund because it gives the organization financial and credible stability. Read about its importance when it comes to writing grants and recruiting board members.
    12. How to Create a Charitable Trust – A charitable trust can be legally created to support your particular cause. This resource will give you the advice you need.

Videos & Non Profit Channels

Many nonprofits are now using video to communicate with supporters about their causes as well as educate those starting their own organization. Here are a few of these videos and channels below.

    13.Piggy-Bank-Non-Profit-Organization How to Outreach for a Non-Profit Organization – Learn about outreach for a non-profit organization in this free business startup video from a management expert on non-profit organizations.
    14. Channel G – A nonprofit organization that distributes and produces educational and instructional video pieces. These videos are devoted to inspiring individuals about the work of nonprofit organizations in the US.
    15. Budget Planning for a Non-Profit Organization – Plan your budget for a non-profit organization by viewing this video. You will find it both informative and insightful.
    16. How to Set Up a Board for a Non-Profit Organization – Developing a board for your scholarship or charity can be a heart wrenching task. Get the advice you need for choosing these special individuals with some help from this non- profit guru.


These organizations are committed to helping those who want to help others. They provide a number of networks and opportunities to those interested in starting their own charitable cause.

    17. non-profit circleThe Alliance for Nonprofit Management – An umbrella group for organizations that provide management consultation to charities. Its Web site allows visitors to search for management assistance providers in their local areas.
    18. Grassroots – Grassroots provides free Internet services to charities, including full-featured web hosting and email services. They also provide legal consulting to charities at no charge including assistance with incorporation, application for tax-exempt 501c3 status with the IRS, and tax and risk management issues.
    19. GrantSmart – Useful for grant seekers, philanthropic organizations, and those looking for other organizations with similar projects. There is also a searchable Database of tax related information for each of the over 60,000 private foundations that file Form 990-PF with the IRS.
    20. The Association of Fundraising Professionals – This is a membership organization for fund raisers. It provides publications, workshops, and conferences to help both new and experienced people in the non- profit field.
    21. National Committee on Planned Giving – The NCPG is a professional association for individuals working on developing, marketing, and administering charitable planned gifts. It was formed in 1988 to aid in coordination of education and training of the planned giving community.
    22. CompassPoint Nonprofit Services – A nonprofit organization that provides consulting advice to charities on subjects like fund raising, management, technology, and others. It serves nonprofit groups in the San Francisco area, but offers online education, free newsletters, and links to grant makers and other relevant sites.
    23. The Foundation Center – This site offers answers to many of your questions and links on a number of topics, including starting a nonprofit group. It also offers online courses and a librarian who can provide research help via e-mail.
    24. The National Council of Nonprofit Associations – A group of over 35 state and regional associations of nonprofit organizations, some of which offer workshops on founding charities and can provide consultants and good sources of information on state and local laws and regulations.
    25. United Way – Many local United Ways offer management and technical assistance programs for interested charitable organizations. Charities do not have to be funded by United Way to participate in these training programs.
    26. Women’s Philanthropy Institute – The Women’s Philanthropy Institute aims to inspires, educates and encourage women to bring change in the world through charity and philanthropy.
    27. National Center for Charitable Statistics – Offering fundraising research and training since 1915, this center supports nonprofit organizations and public institutions with funds for health and human services, affordable housing, early childhood education, community arts and culture and other areas of need.
    28. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy – Since 1976, the NCRP has been and advocate for the charitable community. It has provided nonprofit organizations with the well needed resources and opportunities to work toward social and economic justice for disadvantaged populations and communities.

Books, Journals, Magazines, & Newsletters

These publications are all geared toward those in the nonprofit and charitable fields.

    29.scholarshipmoney Mission-Based Management – This book will give you the means to create a solid budget and to run your organization like a business from the very beginning.
    30. Streetsmart Financial Basics for Nonprofit Managers – A useful book on budgeting and accounting for nonprofit businesses. It ensures that you will “get more mission for your money,” knowing that you have limited resources available to you.
    31. Nonprofit World – Published since 1983, this is the only detailed national leadership, management, and governance focused magazine in the nonprofit sector.
    32. Philanthropy Journal – A free online news publication published by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation in Raleigh , North Carolina . It covers state, national, and international news about fundraising, giving, managing, volunteering and technology in the philanthropic and nonprofit community.
    33. The Grantsmanship Center: Magazine – The free TGCI Magazine is packed with information on how to plan, manage, staff and fund the programs of government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
    34. The Nonprofit Handbook, Third Edition – Get the down low on starting a nonprofit organization, including applying for tax-exempt status, writing bylaws, getting insurance, hiring and firing, planning and leading an organization, and much more.
    35. Board Cafe – A free electronic newsletter for members of nonprofit boards of directors published by the CompassPoint in San Francisco. Back issues and instructions for subscribing to the newsletter can be found on the web site.
    36. Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization: A Legal Guide, Third Edition – Written by Bruce R. Hopkins, this book discusses salaries and benefits for employees, planned giving, personal liability, and more.

Web Sites

These sites can definitely give you the essential principles needed to get you on your way to running your charitable foundation.

    37.non-profit-earth Nonprofit Good Practice Guide – This site promotes standards of practice and provides resources and glossaries for nonprofit management. Topics include fundraising and financial stability, governance, staff development and organizational capacity, accountability, and evaluation.
    38. Starting a Nonprofit Organization – A comprehensive site written and compiled by Carter McNamara, co-founder of Authenticity Consulting. This site gives lots of practical advice, including checklists of tasks founders need to complete and useful links to other sources.
    39. Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization – A government produced guide to acquiring charity status. There is also additional information not found on many other sites targeted towards charities.
    40. IRS – Get federal tax information for charities and non-profits from the IRS. Oversees federal tax-exempt status of charitable organizations and provides resources to assist charities, private foundations and other nonprofit organizations with federal reporting compliance.
    41. The US Government – Provides information for non-profit businesses. This is the official information and services site from the U.S. government.
    42. Charity Fraud – This site gives helpful advice to consumers, business people and nonprofit organizations about avoiding charity fraud. It provides fact sheets and consumer alerts regarding potential charity scams.
    43. Grants and Contracts – Find education grants or keep up with existing ones on this site. It includes the forms needed for grant applications, performance reporting, budget, and other information.
    44. – An interactive site where individuals and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world. It also provides a directory of nonprofits, contact information and resources.
    45. Nonprofit Nuts & Bolts – Practical Tips for building better nonprofits. This website provides simple how to’s and management articles for non-profit executives covering topics such as fundraising, volunteer management, public relations, special events, committees and board relations.
    46. Labyrinth Inc. – If you are going to solicit funds you will likely have to register in each state in which you intend to solicit funds. This useful site directs you to the registration contacts for each state.
    47. Online Compendium of Federal and State Regulations for U.S. Nonprofit Organizations – A commercial web site that provides a combination of materials presenting the regulatory setting U.S. nonprofit organizations face today.
    48. – A software site that caters to non-profits and academic organizations. All the software listed on is discounted for not for profit organizations.
    49. BoardSource – Publishes materials on how to form a nonprofit board and recruit new trustees as well as other topics of interest to nonprofit founders. It also holds workshops and can provide consultants for a charity that is being created.
    50. Create Your Own Charitable Foundation – This article explains in a simple and straightforward way the basics of starting your own charitable foundation. Although they try to pitch management organizations for you to use, and therefore this isn’t a completely unbiased summary, its a good overview.

Starting your own charity or scholarship may not be easy, but it is well worth the effort once you see the final product. We hope that the list provided can aid you on making the most correct and efficient decisions when it comes to your chosen cause.