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Nonprofit FAQs

It is difficult to encompass all of the information about starting a nonprofit organization within a few articles. So, we have included a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.

Are the services that I offer through my nonprofit required to be free?
Many nonprofits offer services or sell products that help fund their activities.

I want to set up a nonprofit organization. Can a nonprofit pay its staff?
Nonprofit does not mean that the organization can't have a paid staff. Most do.

When do I need to apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status?
To receive a tax-exemption dating from the time of your incorporation, you'll need to file IRS Form 1023 within 27 months.

Do Changes in Our Nonprofit Bylaws Have to Be Reported to the IRS?
Most bylaw changes do need to be reported to the IRS. Sometimes, reporting them on your next 990 will suffice.

How Do I Change the Name of My Nonprofit Trust?
Sometimes the name of a nonprofit entity has to be changed. How do you do it? Here's the answer.

What are Articles of Incorporation? Why Does My Nonprofit Need Them?
Filing articles of incorporation with your state office (usually the Secretary of State Office) is the first step toward making your nonprofit legal.

I am so confused about contracts and agreements.
I am so confused about contracts and agreements. I want to help people, not worry about legalese. Are there some guidelines for what to do when?

Does My Nonprofit Really Need to Apply for 501(c)(3) Status?
There are many informal groups that do good in the community but never become full-fledged tax-exempt charities. Where does your organization fit?

I'm starting a nonprofit. When can I start accepting donations?
It is better to get all your nonprofit ducks in a row before you start soliciting donations.

How Do I Apply for 501(c)(3) Status?
Applying for 501(c)(3) status is not easy. We have some suggestions and resources for you.

What Is a Nonprofit?
The word nonprofit applies to those organizations that are set up to serve the common good.

Do I Have to File for Tax Exempt Status to Be a Nonprofit?
Some small charitable organizations do not become registered tax-exempt nonprofits.

Can a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Sell Adspace?
Selling ads in a publication published by a nonprofit is often a good way to increase revenue. But, what are the pitfalls?

There are more differences between a for-profit business and a nonprofit than...
Do you know how a nonprofit is different from a business? Here are a few ways these two types of organizations differ.

How Can I Find Low-Cost Legal Advice?
Sometimes good legal advice is crucial to starting your nonprofit organization.

Can an Organization Be Part Profit and Part Nonprofit?
It is not wise to try to have a hybrid, nonprofit/for-profit organization.

We Have a Tax ID Number. Are We a Nonprofit?
Does having a tax id number make you a nonprofit?

Can We Start Raising Funds or Do We Have to Register First?
It is not enough to become an IRS registered nonprofit in order to raise funds. Most states require registration too.

What Is Unrelated Business Activity?
Most nonprofits engage in some kind of business activity to help support their organization. But, what activities are related and what are unrelated? And, what are the tax implications?

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