Hey Stacey,
As I promised below is my collection of notes and books I used to become a non-profit business. Doing it on your own is very time consuming, but if you take the time to read over the notes, books and documents I'm sending. You will appreciate that hard work in the end when you get that piece of paper in your hand. Now there are some agencies like LegalZoom.com that can assist you in becoming non-profit business, but it can cost up to $1000 or more. Here is the link to the IRS to apply for tax exempt status ---> http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Application-Process

Below is a list of items to help you out (click on the links to open):

1.) BOOK - Nonprofit Law & Governance For Dummies (.pdf)

2.) DOCUMENT - Types of Nonprofits (.pdf)

3.) SOFTWARE - In order to open the Nonprofit Management 101 book (.epub), you will need to download the Adobe Digital Editions software. CLICK HERE ---> http://www.adobe.com/products/digital-editions/download.html

4.) BOOK - Nonprofit Management 101 (.epub)

5.) DOCUMENT - How To Start A Nonprofit Business (.pdf)

6.) DOCUMENT - Nonprofit Checklist (.pdf)

7.) Business Plan Template (.docx) (This is a MS Word document that you can use to create your own business plan)

8.) Non-profit Marketing Strategy (.pdf) (Use this template to create an organizational marketing plan)

One thing I found when I was doing research to get started was this website that has helped me out tremendously. Check out this site CLICK HERE--> http://www.snpo.org/join/levels.php. I have renewed my electronic membership four times and I am always getting useful information. It's a great resource to have for getting information about available grants, applying for grants, organizing your nonprofit, and various fundraising techniques. The fee is $49 a year. I'm glad I got this because I've gotten information from the site and e-mails that helped me out a few times.

Getting funding for your vision is probably your top priority so once you get your 501c3 status, you can use grants.gov and grantstation. The only thing about these tools is that you need to be non-profit already to even apply.

Okay, I hope this helps you out Stacey.