Forming and Managing a Nonprofit Organization

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by Attorney James E. Crossen, III

Are you looking to form a nonprofit corporation?  Before you start a new nonprofit, make sure
you have identified an unmet need in your community and know that there are not
any existing organizations serving your cause. If another organization exists,
consider working together, as that may be a better way to make an impact in
your community and invest existing resources.

A nonprofit corporation is a creature of state law.  In order to form a nonprofit corporation in
Pennsylvania, paperwork must be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of
State, along with a filing fee of $125.00.

You must determine the structure of your organization.
According to the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO),
there are 29 different types of nonprofits defined in the IRS code. You must
determine the type of organization that you will form (e.g., a charitable
corporation under 501(c) (3) or another kind of nonprofit: member or not,
corporation or unincorporated, association, or trust).

The nonprofit corporation must give legal notice to the
public of its filing with the state.
After it is formed, the organization must have a governing body – the
Board of Directors – who will adopt Bylaws (i.e. the internal rules of how it
will conduct its business). 

As a corporation, the organization must obtain a tax
identification number from the IRS.   To
be tax exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal
Revenue Code, the organization must file Form 1023 with the IRS. 

You should consult an attorney or an accountant when
starting a nonprofit, to assist your organization in filing paperwork with the
IRS and state. Attorney James E. Crossen, III, is duly qualified as an Attorney
and a Certified Public Accountant. He has assisted numerous nonprofit
corporations with these legal requirements. If you have nonprofit questions,
call Attorney Crossen at (570) 622-5933.

Nonprofit Resources

Starting a Nonprofit in Pennsylvania (PANO):

National Council of Nonprofits:


Contact Williamson Friedberg & Jones

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