Nonprofit Formation & Governance

The two key steps in establishing a nonprofit organization are 1). Incorporating with the state and 2). obtaining federal tax-exemption status from the IRS. While incorporation with the state, generally simply involves preparation of two key documents (i.e. Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws), obtaining tax-exemption status, is a more involved process, which requires the submitting an application for federal tax-exemption accompanied with detailed information about the organization and its proposed activities, as well as, a three-year budget. Ensuring that the client organization establishes the right structure from the beginning is key. The Williams Group puts forth the necessary effort to ensure its client organizations accomplish these key steps on the front end, thereby placing its client organizations on solid ground.

Of equal importance, we also advise our client organizations of the applicable nonprofit laws and assist them in establishing governance and operational policies. This enables them to operate effectively and provides them with the peace of mind that they are in compliance with applicable regulations. Governance rules vary from state to state with regard to the nonprofit corporation laws and the type of organization at issue (e.g., membership associations, religious organizations). Several states have passed regulations which extend various provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to nonprofits of that state. Such regulations typically include those regulations pertaining to the records requirements and the whistleblower provisions. Additionally, certain charity watchdogs such as the BBB, among others, will often require that nonprofits meet certain governance requirements, before extending their approval.

The Williams Group works with its nonprofit clients to guide them through the formation process and assist them to establish governance policies and practices that will stand up under such scrutiny.

The Williams Group also assist in informing the board and ensuring that board members understand their fiduciary obligations, the best industry practices, and advises them of various pitfalls that could threaten nonprofit status.

Our Nonprofit Formation & Governance Services include:

  • Formation of nonprofit corporations and charitable trusts.
  • Preparation and review of governance documents. (nonprofit bylaws, governance policies, etc.)
  • Consultation on the legal duties of boards, including fiduciary and ethical obligations.
  • Advise board members of best practices, including conflicts of interest and financial controls.