How to start your own NGO in United States and what are the types?

How to start your own NGO in United States and what are the types

The Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can be classified into different types on the basis of various factors like orientation or level of cooperation. Those, orientated can be grouped into charitable orientation like Service orientation, Participatory orientation and Empowering orientation. Those NGOs type by level of co-operation can be grouped into Community-Based organization like City Wide organizations, National NGOs and International NGOs.

The NGOs forms a heterogeneous group and has a long list of organization working in different areas with varied scope of work. In States, the NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) are also known by terms such as private voluntary organizations, civil society, independent sector, self-help organizations, grassroots organizations, volunteer sector, transnational social movement organizations and non-state actors (NSA’s).

As per the World Bank Typology, the NGOs can be classified into Operational and Advocacy NGOs:

Operational NGO

Its main purpose is to design and implement the development related projects and its scope may be national, international or even community based.

Advocacy NGO

Its main purpose is to promote a specific cause and it makes efforts to raise awareness and knowledge by doing various activities like lobbying, press work and activist events.


Let’s take a look now on starting a non-profit organization. It is an exciting and rewarding opportunity but can also be challenging at times. It basically performs some type of public or community benefit, without the purpose of making a profit. There are usually various categories of nonprofits recognized by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

A) Charitable or religious organizations.

B) Social welfare organizations.

C) Labor and agriculture organizations.

D) Business leagues.

E) Veteran’s organizations.

How to start your own NGO in United States?

While incorporating a non-profit organization, one needs to follow a process which is very similar to creating a regular corporation except that you have to take this extra required steps of applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS and their state tax division. Let’s now look at the steps to incorporate your NGO:

A) First and the foremost, choose a matching name and make sure to check the state-by-state information on the various laws that may be applied to naming a nonprofit organization in the said State.

B) Appointing the Board of Directors is a must.

C) Choose wisely if your organization will be a trust, corporation or an association.

D) Filing the formal paperwork or articles of incorporation is required and you need to pay a small filing fee to your State.

E) As said above, a nonprofit organization may be eligible for exemption from federal income tax, so do apply for tax-exempt status.

F) Last but not the least, obtain necessary licenses and permits to identify if your nonprofit organization have all the license and permits needed to comply with federal, state and local rules.

Do a research on grants, loans and other assistance if individual donors make up the largest contributions to nonprofit organizations. Check which federal, state and local governments offering grants, loans and programs to support funding. Also try surfing the site called which will help you find and apply for federal government grants for your nonprofit organization.

Once you follow the above given points, you shall soon be able to open your own NGO and start serving the society.