The Lehigh Valley SCORE chapter provides counseling services for non-profit organizations as well, since several of our counselors have extensive executive experience in both corporate and educational spheres. Some of these counselors have also been a part of many non-profit boards and organizations, hence they can provide guidance on the formation, growth, and success of non-profit organizations
Whether you are an existing non-profit or a prospective non-profit organization, click on Find a Mentor on the main navigation menu.
Download a non-profit business planning guide.
Tips for Non-Profits
- The IRS controls who can be designated as a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation. Go to www.irs.gov and print out Form 1023 "Application For Recognition of Exemption" and a Form 1023 Checklist.
- The organization must be dedicated to providing some benefit to the public at large and cannot be a cover for "my business."
- There must be a Board of Directors who will direct the long-term direction and goals of the organization.
- There can be paid employees but these people cannot be deciding how much they get paid or be the major directors of the non-profit mission.
- You must have articles of organization and by-laws that describe the group and its goals
- After the IRS approves the group, contributions can be tax deductible if they are for the general operation of the organization but not for tuition or the benefit of specific people.
- An easier way to get non-profit status is to join up with an existing non-profit and have your particular function or operation become a part of the major group.
- Most of the effort listed above can be done by anyone and you do not have to hire an attorney to create all the materials. It would be helpful to engage an attorney towards the end before you go to the IRS to make sure everything is in order.
For specific details go to the Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Organizations website.
These tips are provided to you by
Lehigh Valley SCORE Chapter 74