The info is freely available on line. It requires a bit of work, a few endorsements, a mission statement, and a little $$$ for fees and filing. What is the goal of your non-profit, and in what way does it meet the requirements (educational, arts, charitable, religious)? Those are the first questions to ask.
I'd love to see a group which could respond to the really loud religious voice in SC, but I'm not sure how exactly it would work.
I like community service. I am not really sure what services we could provide but something that will be useful and will allow for us to get the message out there that we are here and that we are a good group of people willing to help our communities. Perhaps we could establish a scholarship or something. I hate to suggest it but we must first put together a committee of some sort to decide how to go ahead. Is anyone interested in getting together to discuss something?
I've been involved in a few of these over the years (many years
Basically, it's covered under the 501(c) section of IRS rules.
Usually a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) depending on whether you want to
get involved politically, have tax exempt donations, be required to
list donors, etc.
A lot of times the easiest thing to claim is to be educational since
just about anything you do can be considered educating the public.
Also, from my past experience, you cannot get a bunch of atheists
and agnostics to agree on much of anything (including where to get
dinner), so an atheist political organization is likely to be a very small
subset of an already small enough group depending on which side of
the political spectrum you choose.
The hard part is going to be handling the money and such.
That is probably more trouble than it's worth in most cases.
I was once a treasurer for a local branch of American Atheists
(before the big fallout with MMOH) and that was no picnic for
Your best bet overall would be to start something informally and
see if you can even keep interest going with a core group for a
year or so before venturing into an "official" organization which is
subject to IRS regulations.
Just to keep things simple if it doesn't work out...
Also, don't be too surprised if you get a little resistance working
with other groups if you have the word "atheist" in the name of
A lot of times, that will shut some doors other organizations did
not even know existed.