Your Plan

Writing out a business plan allows you to organize your thoughts and create a roadmap for your non-profit corporation. You can use SCORE’s Business Planning Tools for Non-Profits to help.

A good place to start is your mission statement. A mission statement is a concise explanation of the corporation's reason for existence. It describes the corporation's purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders.

Your business plan should also address the following state requirements:


Rhode Island law requires that a non-profit corporation have at least three directors at all times. The names and addresses of the initial board of directors need to be provided on the Articles of Incorporation.


One or more persons may form a non-profit corporation by filing Articles of Incorporation with the RI Department of State. Each incorporator must sign the Articles, verifying the information submitted is true under penalty of perjury. The name and address of the incorporator(s) is a permanent record. An incorporator is not prohibited from holding a position on the board of directors or acting as the registered agent. The responsibilities of the incorporator(s) end after the non-profit corporation’s first organizational meeting is held.


Bylaws are the rules adopted for the regulation or management of the affairs of your non-profit corporation. Bylaws are not filed with the RI Department of State. They are held internally and are not public record.


The officers of a non-profit corporation typically consist of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and any other officers and assistant officers deemed necessary. Officers must be elected or appointed, as prescribed in the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws, for terms not exceeding three (3) years. All officers will be elected or appointed annually by the Board of Directors unless your Bylaws state otherwise. Any two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the offices of president and secretary.

Partners and Counseling

Some of our partners offer free, expert guidance to aid the planning of your non-profit corporation. Read through the descriptions and find the counseling that will best fit your own individual needs.

Phone: 401-272-2558  Website:

The mission of Social Enterprise Greenhouse is to creative positive social and economic impacts by supporting social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. SEG defines social enterprises as organizations that strive to do well and do good.

Services offered:

  • Hub Coworking
  • Incubator
  • Accelerator
  • Advising
  • Talent Matchmaking
  • Loan Fund
  • Forum

Phone: 401-444-0600  Website:

The United Way of Rhode Island works to make positive changes in the lives of the people of Rhode Island.

Services offered:

  • Grants
  • Grant writing support
  • Networking

Phone: 401-444-0628   Website:

Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island supports organizations and foundations that make grants. They do not provide grants for organizations but provide support to local non-profits.

Services Offered:

  • Professional Development
  • Networking with Non-Profit Funders
  • Grant writing support

Phone: 401-274-4564  Website:

The Rhode Island Foundation is a community foundation that supports non-profit corporations.

Services offered:

  • Grants & Scholarships
  • Capacity building for Non-Profits
  • Racial equality training
  • Leadership development

Phone: 401-226-0077 Website:

SCORE’s business experts offer real-world advice and know-how. The counselors represent every business area. A SCORE business professional can answer your questions in a face-to-face, confidential consultation.

Services offered:

  • Start-up Assistance
  • Business Planning
  • Managing a Business
  • Managing Employees
  • Customer Relations
  • Accounting/Budgeting
  • Cash-flow Management
  • Tax Planning
  • Marketing, Sales and Communications
  • Information Technology and Computing
  • Legal Issues (e.g., incorporation)

Phone: 401-874-7232  Website:

The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (RISBDC) at the University of Rhode Island provides local non-profits with the services and expertise they need to succeed including no-cost expert counseling, relevant training and access to important resources.

Services Offered:

  • Business Planning
  • Financial Statement Development
  • Grant Application Preparation
  • Establishing Your Non-Profit
  • Strategic Planning
  • Marketing and Brand Building
  • Licenses, Permits and Business Regulations
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