When it comes to operating a nonprofit agency, wanting to do good isn't always good enough.
"Many people starting nonprofits don't realize all the constraints," says Marty Martin, a Raleigh attorney whose practice focuses on providing legal and training services related to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. "The IRS requirements, and the openness and transparency that's required to operate an exempt operation, can be a much bigger challenge that people think."
On behalf of Philanthropy Journal, Martin will deliver How to Start a Nonprofit: A Step by Step Guide at 2:00 p.m. March 19. Its purpose is to help advocates determine if starting a nonprofit is the right step for them to take - or whether collaborating with an existing program to leverage resources might be more effective.
The webinar will cover the "nuts and bolts" of starting a nonprofit, including required legal documents including Articles of Incorporation; IRS 990 form; IRS 1023 application; state tax requirements; and charitable solicitation license. Incorporated in this discussion will be planning tips; distinctions between nonprofit and exempt organizations; and legal operating requirements to maintain the exempt status.
It also will address the growing challenge of funding amid threatened cutbacks by state and national lawmakers, as well as belt tightening by foundations and other grant-funding agencies.
"Often, the challenge is not getting it started, but keeping it going," Martin says. "Government funders and grant funders are looking to have larger organizations that are more efficient. The burdens of fundraising can quickly become a full-time obligation."
Martin hopes that leaders who have strong plans and deep passion for their cause are not discouraged by the challenges of creating a nonprofit that serves a demonstrated community need.
"A lot of young entrepreneurial students and individuals, who have come up through community service programs in high school and college, are looking at nonprofit organizations as an alternative to government or business," he says. "In the best cases, they are creating their own jobs and future while improving their communities."
For additional information the webinar, visit the registration page. Those unable to participate in the live stream may download it later for viewing at their convenience.
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