Guide To Taking Over A Nonprofit Organization

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Jan 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

Nonprofit organizations differ from for-profit organizations in many notable ways, including their purpose and how they are owned. While there may be owners or shareholders of for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations are not technically owned by anyone. They are founded to create a public good and governed by a board of directors or trustees who are accountable to state and federal authorities to ensure the nonprofit operates in a legal manner and for the purposes the organization outlined when it was formed. Nonetheless, the time may come when a nonprofit organization wants to transfer control or put a new leader in place who can envision a different future for the organization. For these reasons, Mission Counsel has prepared the following guide to taking over a nonprofit organization to help stakeholders better understand this process and anticipate potential issues.

Protecting Your Volunteers from Liability

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Sep 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

Volunteering is an excellent way for you to serve others in need. Recent research shows that approximately one out of four Americans volunteer. Volunteers love giving their time and energy to a worthy cause. Many times, it is an opportunity for them to make their community a better place to live but with volunteers may come liability...

Nonprofit Directors vs Officers

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Sep 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

A vital part of your nonprofit checklist is to elect a board of directors and assign clearly defined officer roles. Unfortunately, it's common to see confusion between the two different roles, especially when you might have a scenario where a person serves as both a director and an officer...

Do I need to incorporate my nonprofit?

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Aug 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

A simple breakdown of why you may want to incorporate your nonprofit, the benefits of doing so, and how to do it! Forming a nonprofit corporation (a distinct legal entity) is different from federal or state tax exemption (a tax classification). For organizations seeking tax exemption, incorpor...

Why you should hire a lawyer to remain compliant with the IRS as a nonprofit??

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Aug 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

Let's suppose that you finally have your nonprofit up and running. You've received approval from the IRS and are ready to begin your mission. Unfortunately, the work with the IRS is far from over. It's equally as important to know how to maintain your nonprofit's status. Once you hit the ground running as a nonprofit, there are so many things that start to get added to your to-do list... this is one item you will not only need to add to that list but prioritize, for the long-term success of your nonprofit...

What can a nonprofit do when its 501(c)(3) status has been automatically revoked for failure to file a 990?

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Aug 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

What automatic revocation means for your nonprofit, how it happens, what you can do & more! As a nonprofit founder or executive director, we know you receive a huge number of emails and snail mail on a daily basis. Combine that with the number of guidelines and regulations you have to follow and we know that your job can very quickly become extremely overwhelming. Regardless, one piece of mail or notice that you NEVER want to receive as a nonprofit is the IRS Notice CP120A – Notice of Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status...

Should my Nonprofit Have a Trademark?

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Aug 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

What is a trademark?  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) explains: A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services. The USPTO goes on to say that a trademark is how customers recognize your business...

What Nonprofits Need To Know About Contracts

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Aug 04, 2021 | 0 Comments

Contracts affect virtually every part of an organization. As a nonprofit leader, you have a contract (whether written or not) with every single vendor, service provider, donor, and client-related to your organization. Due to this, it's important to have a good base of knowledge when it comes to contracts, we walk through the important items for your next nonprofit contract here!

Everything You Should Know About Fiscal Sponsorships

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Jul 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

Fiscal sponsorships could be the solution you didn't know you had as a nonprofit. Throughout this blog post, we talk about the benefits & risks of having a fiscal sponsor, along with other key questions you should be considering if you're wondering if having a fiscal sponsorship as a nonprofit is right for you.

Maintaining Tax-Exempt Status As A NonProfit

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Jun 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

You've made it this far as a tax-exempt nonprofit but it's important to stay refreshed on how you can make sure you maintain that status. The loss of tax-exempt status could have devastating consequences for your charitable nonprofit. Whether you're a nonprofit leader, board, or staff member, it ...

Can an LLC be a Nonprofit?

Posted by Terry Mosteller | Jun 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Short answer? Yes, an LLC can be a Non-Profit but we're not going to lie, it can get a bit complicated. In order to understand how this atypical situation happens, it's important to dive into the how and why.  LLC's aren't usually formed as nonprofit (or tax-exempt) organizations mostly because ...

How do nonprofits work?

Posted by Terry Mosteller | May 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

What is a nonprofit?  A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that operates as a business aiming to ...

501(c)(3) Application Process Explained

Posted by Terry Mosteller | May 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

What is a 501(c)(3)? Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status is designed to help prospective charities apply for tax exemption under the tax law.  If you're here, this means you've been researching the process of starting a nonprofit and you need more information on what 501(c)(3) status i...


Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | May 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

When you see the Starbucks mermaid certain ideas, feelings, and even smells come to mind. This is not by magic but by marketing and the use of trademarks. Just like businesses, nonprofits benefit from trademarks. Trademarks help to establish, build, and maintain a brand that is unique, not only in the eyes of the public but in the law.

Ethical Decision Making

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Mar 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

Ethical decision making is an essential aspect of every successful nonprofit. Too often in the news, we hear about ethical violations that have destroyed companies from within. There are more moral meltdowns and massive lawsuits based on inappropriate activities every day. The last thing you, as a nonprofit leader, want is to have negative press all over the internet about ethical issues in your organization. Ethics can be complicated to navigate. The good news is that by having an ethical management plan, you can help avoid ethical failures in your place of work.

Why should nonprofits hire an attorney?

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Mar 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

While having a full-time in-house attorney may not be realistic for your organization, getting the occasional outside counsel from a nonprofit law firm is much more realistic than you might think. At Mission Counsel, we focus on the success of nonprofits and their missions. Our background in the nonprofit sector gives us a unique insight into the challenges you face, and we are committed to assisting nonprofits in a way that is sustainable and approachable for organizations of all sizes.

1023 v. 1023-EZ

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Feb 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

To apply for tax-exempt status there are two form options, the 1023 and the 1023-EZ. Now just because there is an “EZ” attached to the end of one of the choices, does not mean it is actually “easy” to fill out. Knowing which application to use is critical when trying to obtain tax-exempt status for your nonprofit.

What every nonprofit CEO needs to know - Part 4: Intellectual Property

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Feb 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Intellectual Property is the intangible rights protecting products of the human intellect, comprised generally of copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Without exception, IP permeates throughout every nonprofit: websites; newsletters; logos; books/articles; music; computer code; unique systems, processes, and methods; campaigns; and more. Often, nonprofits create intellectual property without even realizing it. Knowing how to handle IP is vital for nonprofit Executive Directors and CEOs.

What every nonprofit CEO needs to know - Part 3: Contracts

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Feb 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

Whether you realize it or not, your organization is constantly engaging in numerous contracts, from your internet service provider, to that new donor management platform to which you just subscribed, to the web designer you just hired to rebuild your website. All of those are contractual relationships that are governed by the law of contracts (and the terms contained within those contracts). Having a clear idea of what contracts you are engaged in and what your obligations are as a nonprofit is essential to long term success.

What every nonprofit CEO needs to know - Part 2: Employment

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Feb 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Your organization simply cannot function without its people, yet your people (and the laws surrounding their employment) tend to be among the most common sources of litigation against nonprofits. However, with a little knowledge and foresight, it does not have to be that way. Here is a brief overview of what employment laws nonprofit executive directors should know about.

What every nonprofit CEO needs to know - Part 1: IRS Compliance

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Feb 09, 2021 | 0 Comments

If dealing with the IRS makes you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. Sometimes it seems like the Internal Revenue Service uses a foreign language that you never took in school. We know this and can help translate for your nonprofit. Compliance with the IRS is crucial to keeping your organization above board and in good standing. By making sure to take care of a few relatively straightforward matters, you can ensure your nonprofit maintains that precious 501(c)(3) status. Follow this guide to help keep the IRS happy with your organization.

What every nonprofit CEO needs to know

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Feb 04, 2021 | 0 Comments

In our ever-changing world, there is so much to learn about legal requirements for nonprofits. While regularly reading the news is beneficial for staying up to date, it can be overwhelmingly hard to digest. Between taxes, annual filings, employment regulations, and copyright law alone there is a lot for a nonprofit executive director to keep up with. In our upcoming blog series, we will examine four core areas that are imperative for nonprofit leaders to be well-versed in.

What is Form 1023?

Posted by Heidi Forland-Fetty | Nov 05, 2020 | 0 Comments

Form 1023 is the application used by the IRS to determine if an organization qualifies for tax-exempt status. Tax-exempt status is also known as 501(c)(3) status. It is key for a nonprofit to obtain tax-exempt status within 27 months of being operational. There are a variety of complex questions on this length form, about 40 pages before supplemental materials and the potential addition of schedules. The IRS charges a filing fee of $600 upon submission of Form 1023.

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