Thinking of Starting a Nonprofit?

Wednesday, April 13,  6:00 – 8:00 pm

Do you have a great idea that will help your community? Maybe it should be a nonprofit! We’ll discuss the difference between nonprofits & for-profits, some preliminary considerations before you take action, and an overview of the steps in the process of getting a nonprofit up and running, with a quick look at getting tax-exempt status. Join us at the Legal Center for Nonprofits, located inside the Inter-Church Council House at 412 County Street, New Bedford, MA. Cost to attend is $10 per person. Pre-registration is recommended. Call (508) 264-5996 or email to Linnea@LegalCenterforNonprofits.org for more information or to pre-register.

 

Have you learned to tweet yet?

Sharing Your Message Online Part 3: Twitter & LinkedIn
April 6 at 6:00 pm

Have you discovered how Twitter and LinkedIn can boost your nonprofit’s visibility? Twitter is the cutting edge for news and information, while LinkedIn offers a virtual network that increases your nonprofit’s professional reach. Find out how to use these essential social media tools to advance your nonprofit when Catherine DeTerra, Vice President for Marketing & Grants Development at Old Colony YMCA, discusses Twitter and LinkedIn, as Part 3 of her series, Sharing Your Message Online, on Wednesday, April 6, at 6:00 pm, at the Legal Center for Nonprofits, located inside the Inter-Church Council House at 412 County Street, New Bedford, MA.

Cost to attend is $10 per person. Pre-registration is recommended. Call (508) 264-5996 or email to Linnea@LegalCenterforNonprofits.org for more information or to pre-register.

Download our Flyer april may 2016

 

Nonprofits Must Manage Risk

Nonprofit boards of directors are responsible for risk management in their organizations. Larger nonprofits may have staff to carry out the risk management function, but for most small nonprofits, this falls to the board of directors, with the assistance of the executive director if there is one.

What is risk?

At its simplest, “risk” means “the possibility or chance of loss, danger or injury”. Risk generally involves harm of some type along with uncertainty. To manage risk, the board must identify:

  • What can go wrong?
  • Can it be prevented?
  • Can we insure against it?

Some sources of risk include:

  • Program, such as providing professional, such as counseling or child care, or other services, classes (art, music, cooking), etc.
  • Accidents, slip-and-fall, motor vehicles; transporting students, etc.
  • Acts and omissions, such as failure to warn of a danger, defamation, failing to perform an act or service, etc.
  • Breaches of duty, particularly with regard to board members’ fiduciary duties.
  • Employment, such as discrimination, wrongful discharge, other personnel actions. (Most claims against nonprofits derive from employment matters.)
  • Finances, such as mishandling or misappropriation of funds.
  • People, volunteers, clients, contractors, the public, etc.
  • Disasters, natural or otherwise.

Insurable risks include:

  • Loss of assets
  • Injury
  • Interruption of service
  • Litigation

Unininsurable risks include:

  • Loss of audience or membership.
  • Loss of funding, such as cuts to state budget, or termination of a grant.
  • Social or scientific changes that eliminate the need for a service (e.g., March of Dimes).
  • Increased competition.

A key component of every nonprofit’s risk management program is insurance. Join us for a presentation by Jeffrey Pelletier, Commercial Account Executive with the Sylvia Group, as he explains the particular insurance needs of nonprofits on Wednesday, February 24, at 6:00 pm, at the Legal Center for Nonprofits, located inside the Inter-Church Council House at 412 County Street, New Bedford, MA. Cost to attend is $10 per person. Pre-registration is recommended. Call (508) 264-5996 or email to Linnea@LegalCenterforNonprofits.org for more information or to pre-register.

 

Customized Board Training Available

Does your Board of Directors need a refresher on tax-exempt/nonprofit topics like fiduciary duties, the role & responsibilities of boards, best practices for board meetings, or another topic of particular interest to your nonprofit organization?

Contact us for more information about affordable customized trainings for your board delivered at your location.

Congratulations to New 501(c)(3) Nonprofits!

Congratulations to our clients who have recently been recognized by IRS as 501(c)(3) public charities:

Hearts 4 Paws, Inc.

Veterans Guardian Angels, Inc.

World Coming Together to Make a Difference Incorporated (WOCOTOMADI)

These organizations may receive tax-deductible donations!

Make LCN Part of Your Holiday Giving!

Help us to build a better tomorrow in the Southcoast— please make a gift to LCN so it can continue to unleash the power of nonprofits in our community.

As one organization assisted by LCN said, “When we began our quest to become a nonprofit organization, the Legal Center for Nonprofits was there….without them our food pantry would not exist.” (St. Anne’s Food Pantry)

LCN has worked with more than 60 organizations doing transformational work in SouthCoast and beyond, through its legal services and educational programming. Organizations we’ve helped include:

  • Youth organizations
  • Veterans
  • Community improvement
  • Animal rescue and shelters
  • Food pantries
  • And many others…

When you support LCN, you are supporting the entire nonprofit community in the SouthCoast. You are helping nonprofits achieve the fullest expression of their missions. Their success strengthens our entire community.

On Giving Tuesday, Support the Legal Center for Nonprofits!

On Giving Tuesday, December 1, support the Legal Center for Nonprofits and you will support many other nonprofit organizations serving the SouthCoast region of Massachusetts.  Through our educationally focused work with nonprofit clients, both start-ups and established, we help build capacity in the region’s nonprofit community.

Our client organizations include youth organizations, schools, veterans, community improvement, animal rescues and shelters, and food access. Touch all these organizations and more with one tax-deductible gift.

It’s Giving Tuesday! Please give to support the Legal Center for Nonprofits!  Use your credit card and donate via PayPal.

Popular program returns

Board Meeting Basics
November 18, 6:00-7:30 pm

“Are all nonprofit boards like this?”

“Is our board typical?”

“Is this how a nonprofit board is supposed to run?”

“What about Robert’s Rules?”

Find out about best practices for boards of directors of small nonprofits at the next program of the Legal Center for Nonprofits, Board Meeting Basics, on Wednesday evening, November 18, at 6:00 pm.

Admission is $10 per person, payable at the door. Off-street parking is available. The Legal Center for Nonprofits is located inside the Inter-Church Council House, 412 County St, New Bedford. Call (508) 264-5996 or email Linnea@LegalCenterforNonprofits.org for more information or to preregister.

 

 

Top 10 Tips for End-of-the-Year Fundraising

Wednesday, November 4 at 6:00-8:00 pm

Lee Blake and Kristen Sarkarati will offer their Top 10 Tips to maximize your fundraising results as we head into the end-of-the-year fundraising season. Find out how to get the best return on your fundraising strategies for this year’s Giving Tuesday (December 1), polish your Annual Appeal to make it better than ever, plus more ideas to capitalize on the generous spirit of the fast-approaching holiday season.

Lee Blake is well known for her work with many local nonprofit organizations, including the New Bedford Historical Society and the New Bedford Education Foundation. She is an experienced board member and grant-writer. Kristen Sarkarati is the owner of Blue Skies Consulting, specializing in fundraising and communications, where she has crafted dozens of highly successful annual appeals over the years for a variety of non-profit organizations. Both are members of the Board of Directors of the Legal Center for Nonprofits, Inc.

Admission is $10 per person. Program takes place at the Legal Center for Nonprofits, Inc., 412 County Street, New Bedford, MA, located inside the Inter-Church Council house. Off-street parking is available. Pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited. For more information or to pre-register, call (508) 264-5996 or email Linnea@LegalCenterforNonprofits.org.

Annual Reports due to MA Secretary of State

November 1 is the deadline for nonprofit corporations operating in Massachusetts to provide annual reports to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.  The Annual Report filing fee is $15 and checks should be payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Download a fillable PDF Annual Report form here.

Organizations that fail to file annual reports for two consecutive years are at risk of having their corporate status revoked by the Secretary’s office.  Reinstating corporate status can be expensive in terms of both money and time, as reinstatement requires the filing of all owed annual reports, along with their filing fees.

The Annual Report form is straightforward.  You must provide the physical address of the nonprofit corporation, the date of the last annual meeting, and the names and residential addresses of the officers and board of directors; if there are too many for the space provided, you can add a second sheet listing the entire board. The expiration date for terms of office (depending on your bylaws, it may be the next annual meeting date) should also be listed.

Nonprofit corporations must have a President, Treasurer, and Secretary (Clerk).  If an officer position is vacant, someone should be appointed to the position in accordance with the organization’s bylaws. If an officer position is blank on the form when submitted, it may be returned to you as incomplete.

The Annual Report may be signed by any officer, but the officer’s name must appear as an officer on the report.