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Establishing and Running a Nonprofit

Continuing Education workshop offered through St. Louis Community College on several Saturdays through the year on various Campuses. Search StLCC for the latest offerings.

Establishing and Running a Nonprofit - This 4-hour seminar provides an overview of the legal basics for establishing and running a nonprofit organization - available on-demand or on USB.


Nonprofit, Tax-exempt Corporation Workbook (2016)

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Nonprofit Checklist

Nonprofit Corporation Compliance Issues:

  1. Nonprofit Corporations generally file for Tax Exemption from the IRS. This exemption carries some requirements, namely:
    1. Annual filing of Form 990
    2. Abstaining for all political campaigning
    3. Enganing in only limited lobbying
    4. No private benefit, particularly to members and officers of the corporation
    5. Transfer of the assets to a charitable purpose when the corporation dissolves
    6. Activities unrelated to the organization's purpose are taxable (UBIT)
  2. Many states have requirements for nonprofit organizations, including:
    1. Registering with the Attorney General
    2. Registering and reporting on fundraising activities
    3. Filing an annual report
    4. Reporting any significant transfer of assets out of the state of incorporation

Nonprofit Corporation Checklist:

  1. Research goals and mission
  2. Develop a plan and recruit board members
  3. Establish Corporation
    1. Adopt Articles of Incorporation and File with the State
    2. Name the Board of Directors and adopt Bylaws
    3. Obtain an EIN - Tax ID number by filing form SS-4 with the IRS
    4. Obtain Tax Exempt status by filing Form 1023with the IRS
  4. Establish a Conflict of Interest Policy
  5. Establish financial management
    1. A corporate banking account,
    2. An accounting system adequate for
      1. organizational management
      2. tax reporting
      3. grant tracking
      4. proving substantiation letters to contributors
    3. Meaningful financial oversight
    4. Internal controls
  6. Contact the state tax board for information about obtaining a state tax number and see if additional information must be submitted for state tax exemption from income tax and sales tax, etc.
  7. Check with the state department of consumer affairsor business licensing to obtain any required business licenses or permits.
  8. Contact the state Attorney General's Office to see if registration or reporting is required.
  9. Find out about workers' compensation if you will have employees.
  10. Protect your trade name
  11. Order any required notices (advertisements you have to place) of your intent to begin operating in the community.
  12. Check zoning laws.
  13. Obtain city and/or county business licenses or permits.
    Get adequate insurance or a rider to a homeowner's policy.
  14. Get tax information for employees, including guidelines for withholding taxes, information on hiring independent contractors, etc.
  15. Apply for a federal non-profit mailing permit.
  16. Order business cards and stationery.
  17. Get an email address.
  18. Set up your website.
  19. Develop a Corporation Checklist of legal requirements for operation including:
    1. Board Meetings
      1. Annual Meeting:
        1. Program Review,
        2. Budget Approval,
        3. Appoint Board Members,
        4. Elect Officers
    2. Federal Tax Filings:
      1. Form 990
      2. Employment Tax
    3. State Filings
      1. Corporation
      2. Tax
      3. Charitable Solicitation
  20. Ongoing steps to develop the organization
    1. Educate and Assess the Board
    2. Select, educate and evaluate the Director and key staff
    3. Develop a strategic plan
      1. Review vision and mission
      2. Review programs and activities
      3. Review financials, fundraising and legal compliance
      4. Identify areas of growth and stagnation in the organization
      5. Examine areas of possiblities for growth and needed services


Some links to other Nonprofit Sites.


Establishing and Running a Nonprofit - This one hour webcast provides an overview of the legal basics for establishing and running a nonprofit organization.