Legal Best Practices for Nonprofits
The decision to start and run a nonprofit may be one of the most important choices you’ll ever make. It usually takes a substantial commitment of time and energy, and requires that the interests of the mission be placed ahead of your individual interests. Establishing your legal structure and applying for tax-exempt status can be a major headache. However, taking the proper steps will help to position your organization for success in the long run.
Gaining 501©(3) status is only the beginning of your journey. Once you’ve launched, operating your nonprofit organization means you’ll need to understand a complex web of federal and state laws. Some – like employment laws – apply to any organization whether nonprofit or for-profit. Others apply uniquely to nonprofit organizations and are conditions to maintain your tax-exempt status.
How can the Legal section help your set up and operations?
It may not generate the kind of enthusiasm that thinking about your mission does, but carefully addressing and preparing for legal requirements will provide a solid foundation for carrying out the work that drives you. To support you in that effort, this section addresses common questions related to legally forming and operating a nonprofit organization.
The information on this site is general in nature and may not be applicable to all situations. In addition, laws change. You should refer to the most current editions of additional resources listed for each topic and consult with an attorney or accountant on important matters.
Following a step-by-step process for creating your new mission-driven charitable endeavor will help you establish your nonprofit as a solid organization and avoid common missteps. Continue reading
You may discover in your planning phase the need for other legal options in establishing your nonprofit. Explore the benefits of an Llc. or other IRS-designated type of organization. Continue reading
Though it may be the las thing on your mind as you begin the day-to-day of running you new nonprofit organization, the costs of not filing the correct forms can be high. Keep your nonprofit on track with this guide to required forms. Continue reading
Help determine how and why it might be beneficial for your nonprofit to charge fees. Continue reading
Though you may be doing great things for your community, that does not necessarily protect your organization from negative circumstances. It’s important to protect your nonprofit with the right insurance. Continue reading
To safeguard against conflict of interest situations in your organization and reduce the appearance of impropriety you may consider drafting a conflict of interest policy. Continue reading
Certain forms and protocol are necessary to conduct board meetings. Learn more about what is necessary for a meeting and how to preserve essential records. Continue reading
Understand how the law defines lobbying and how it relates to the activities of your nonprofit. Continue reading
Understand how your business activities are perceived from a tax perspective in terms of being “related’ or “unrelated” and how this effects your organization. Continue reading
Learn the requirements and limits that the IRS enforces for salaries of nonprofit employees. Continue reading