1. Form Non-Profit Corp (with language required by IRS for 501(c)(3)), with at least 3 directors. Do internal paperwork, like minutes, bylaws, etc. (We have a service in Delaware that does all this in a standard package for $298 www.incnow.com);
2. Obtain EIN (free online from IRS);
3. Open bank account;
4. File 1023 Application with IRS, rather involved form with $500 user fee if you plan to raise more than $10,000 per year, but expect response within 120 days for a tax determination letter; and
5. Annually file 990 tax return and annual reports with state of incorporation.