Starting a Maine Nonprofit

This section of our site is intended to provide guidance to people considering starting a new nonprofit in Maine.

What is a Nonprofit?

The nonprofit sector is the collective name used to describe institutions and organizations in American society that are neither government nor business. Other names often used include the not-for-profit sector, the third sector, the independent sector, the philanthropic sector, the voluntary sector, or the social sector.

Within the broad category “nonprofit,” there are many types of organizations. This section of our site focuses on starting a Maine nonprofit corporation with tax exemption under IRS code 501(c)(3), though much of the information applies to starting other types of nonprofits as well. This glossary of terms may be useful in understanding other information on our website.

Consider Alternatives Carefully

With over 6,000 nonprofits in the state of Maine and over 1.5 million in the nation, starting a new nonprofit may not be the best solution to the problem you’re seeking to solve. Increased competition for dwindling resources creates a very challenging environment in which to sustain a nonprofit organization, and talking to similar organizations about possible collaboration is often the best move that you can make.

The following articles and guides can help you to think through your options.

How to Start a Nonprofit in Maine

If after reviewing the materials above and you’ve decided that starting a nonprofit is your best alternative and you’re ready to get started, the following resources can help you along your way.