Starting Nonprofit

Reinstatement of Good Standing with Corporate and Tax Regulatory Agencies for California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporations

Staying in good standing with the state of California and the IRS is an ongoing process.  This free publication from Public Counsel, Guide for Reinstatement of Good Standing with Corporate and Tax Regulatory Agencies for California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporations both outlines what you need to do to be compliant, and offers guidance if your organization has lost its corporate and/or tax exempt status.   Download a copy here

Social Enterprise

For profit alternatives to the traditional nonprofit corporation.

In 2012 the California legislature created two new classes of corporations for businesses that seek to pursue both profit and purpose: Benefit Corporations and Flexible Purpose Corporations.  Here are some articles that explain what they are and how they work:

Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal sponsorship is an arrangement between a 501(c)(3) public charity and a project (that does not have that tax status) in which, typically, the charity receives and expends funds to advance the charitable work of the project while retaining discretion and control over the funds. 

Learn about Fiscal Sponsorship

GrantSpace offers comprehensive information on all aspects of fiscal sponsorship.

LawforChangeoffers these links to useful information and resources for nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other social sector groups seeking to establish fiscal sponsorship programs.

Fiscal Sponsorship: An Alternative to Forming a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Corporation [2009]  Public Counsel

A White Paper on Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship By Josh Sattely, Compliance and Legal Affairs Specialist Third Sector New England

Find a Fiscal Sponsor

Community Initiatives works to support and provide services to unincorporated nonprofit projects in California that benefit the community. CI serves as a fiscal sponsor to various nonprofit projects that benefit arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and public affairs.

Fiscal Sponsors Directory, connecting community projects with fiscal sponsors.

Learn about Fiscal Sponsorship at the Tides Center in San Francisco.

United Charitable Programs (UCP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor of active charitable programs.

California Attorney General’s Guide for Charities

The Attorney General’s Guide for Charities is intended to help volunteers and others who serve as directors, officers or fundraisers for nonprofit charitable organizations. It provides practical information and answers to questions frequently asked about charities. In addition, the Guide summarizes some of the more important California laws affecting the creation and operation of nonprofit charitable corporations.

Before you start

Thinking about starting a nonprofit? This excellent post discusses myths, realities, questions, tips, warnings and the steps you need to know before starting a nonprofit.

Read this thoughtful article first Don’t Do It: Don’t Start a Nonprofit, and this excellent article from Attorney’s Takagi and Chan and finally The Gentle Art of Dissuasion: Four Steps For Stemming the Tide of Nonprofit Start Ups.

View a brief video offering some excellent food for thought.  What to Think About Before Starting a Nonprofit

Download this booklet, Get Ready, Get Set, to learn what you need to know before starting a nonprofit. Find answers to all of your basic questions.

Answering these questions from the National Council of Nonprofits can help you determine if starting a nonprofit is right for you.