I am interested in starting a non profit organization. Would I be able to raise funds without being 501C3 certified, use part of these funds to purchase and renovate a home (this is where my organization will be run from BUT I will also have to live there). This way I feel I can devote my time to the organization instead of my full time job. After this initial purchase can I then apply for certification and use the remaining funds solely for the organization? Just want to make sure it is all legal. Also, just as a side note--those who donate to me will be completely aware of these intentions.