The Essential Training Manual for Leaders of Small Nonprofits

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It is at this meeting that the initial board of directors is installed and officer titles determined. The minutes notes of this meeting should include a resolution that shows unanimous affirmation by the initial board to establish the organization and pursue both incorporation and federal tax exemption. The purpose of the organization should be articulated in writing, as well.

There are a number of tasks involved with forming a nonprofit organization at the state level.

PDF The Essential Training Manual for Leaders of Small Nonprofits

The most important of these is the incorporation process. While it is possible to form a non-corporate, nonprofit organization, and obtain federal c tax exemption , the vast majority of organizations choose corporate status.

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Forming a corporation means that the founders, or incorporators, are creating a legal entity that exists wholly apart from the people involved with it. Most people prefer to form a nonprofit corporation, in part, because of the liability protection a corporation provides. For example, if a nonprofit corporation were to be sued, the assets of its directors and members are generally protected because corporate assets are distinct from personal assets. In order to be recognized as a c 3 , tax-exempt organization, the newly formed nonprofit corporate must apply to the IRS. This application process involves the creation of what amounts to a detailed business plan.

The IRS provides a core form, Form , which is up to 17 pages in length, that provides them with basic, structural information. The final filing package, however, averages between 50 pages of information, including multi-year budgets and a detailed narrative of proposed purpose and program s. An alternate filing method for certain small nonprofits is Form EZ, an abbreviated, streamlined application process released by the IRS in July While faster, eligibility is strictly limited and may not be appropriate even for qualifying applicants.

Nonprofit Business Plan Strategy

For more information, see:. What is Form EZ? Who is Eligible to file Form EZ? Sometimes it takes a little less; sometimes a little more. One of the primary reasons for the long review period is the amount of time it takes for a particular case to be assigned to a review agent. One of the most overlooked and critical of these is registering with the state Division of Charities. This is required in most states to be able to legally solicit donations from the public, whether that is a fundraising event, letters, direct appeal and increasingly , online requests for support.

In addition, it subjects the organization to potential penalty. Our Complete Compliance package includes this critical registration service automatically. Guest Post by Sr. Director of Customer Acquisition at Kindful: Donor management is one of the most important priorities of any nonprofit organization. Maintaining good relationships with your donors shows them you respect and appreciate them while ensuring that you will continue to have their support for years to come. There are many innovative and transformative initiatives you can do to build strong relationships with your donors.

Here are seven basic strategies you absolutely must do to keep those relationships healthy. No decision you make regarding your nonprofit organization carries more importance than who is chosen to lead it.

The members of your board of directors make up the governing body of your nonprofit and are legally accountable for its actions. Practically speaking, they are accountable to your supporters and beneficiaries to oversee the accomplishment of the organization's purposes. The buck stops with them But that's another article. If you are just starting out, who should be asked to serve? And, if your organization is already established, and vacancies on the board need filling, who should…. When starting a c 3 organization, there are generally two choices of how the organization will be classified.

It can be a public charity or a private foundation. Though greatly outnumbered by public charities, private foundations bring a lot to the table. That grassroots definition is, in practice, mostly true. The specifics, however, are slightly more complicated.

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Let's take a closer look at the differences, and similarities, between these…. It often seems that when otherwise business-savvy individuals become involved in a nonprofit organization, they set aside all they ever learned in business and proceed to operate their nonprofit as if business rules do not matter. As most soon find out, they matter a lot. In this post, let's take a look in no particular order at 10 business basics that nonprofits ignore at their own peril. This is installment 2 in our ongoing series on leadership. Our first installment was more of an introduction.

In this post, we are going to explore the concept of governance vs. They shouldn't be.

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And in far too many nonprofits, the leadership fails to understand the difference. Properly separating the concepts of governance and management can be critical to the success of your endeavor. Governance is leadership of the big picture. Primarily the responsibility of the board of directors, governance describes the notion of governing.

Several ideas are simultaneously embodied in…. Regardless of who or what comes to mind, there is the common thread of someone who leads.

But what does leadership really mean? Certainly it means more than just being in charge. And in the setting of a nonprofit organization, is the meaning different? I would submit that while the meaning is not so different, the goal of leadership often is. Did you know? The vast majority of board members for charitable nonprofits serve as volunteers without any compensation. Arguably the most important policy for a board to adopt is a policy addressing conflicts of interest. A common question: Should your nonprofit's CEO also be a board member?

However, to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest, questions concerning accountability, or blurring the line between oversight and execution, chief executives should be non-voting members of the board, unless not permitted by law. What's the difference between "board of directors" and "trustees"? Practice Pointers We encourage all nonprofit board members to subscribe to our free monthly newsletters to stay up-to-date with issues that are popping up around the country, affecting the operations of charitable nonprofits, and in addition to be aware of these useful resources: How does your board compare with others?

Leading With Intent offers benchmarks from a national study BoardSource. Board members have an important role as advocates to help advance nonprofit missions: Stand for your Mission Boards and CEOs have to dance a special dance.

SAGE Reference - Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: A Reference Handbook

Tip sheet for candid conversations for boards about typical governance challenges National Council of Nonprofits Start your new board members off on the right foot with an orientation program that introduces them to the basic roles and responsibilities of serving as a nonprofit board member. Consider creating a "work plan" for your board based on the calendar year. What month will your board typically review the executive director's compensation?

Here's an example of a board's work plan for a calendar year: The Board Member's Yearbook Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Asking board members to volunteer for various committees benefits from thoughtful planning and a bit of "matchmaker" magic! Who should serve on which board committees?

BoardSource When board members are recruited, consider using a board member contract to ensure that everyone's on the same page Blue Avocado and don't forget that fundraising and making personal contributions are widely accepted expectations for board members. Job descriptions can help board members feel comfortable in their roles as officers of a nonprofit.

Increasing Nonprofit Executive Team Effectiveness

Download a sample. Help board members understand that this usually includes making a personal contribution. Many governance gurus suggest putting the most important item on the agenda first — in order to leave enough time for full discussion. Do your nonprofit's board members appreciate the expectation that their role includes fundraising for the nonprofit? BoardSource Education for Board Members Not everyone is familiar with the roles and responsibilities of board members for a charitable nonprofit and fortunately educational programs for board members abound. Peer-to-peer learning is powerful!