Starting the Nonprofit!

If you’re thinking about starting a nonprofit, the place to start is with our new Saturday Seminars. Join us on Saturday, October 17, 9:00-1:00 pm, at the Legal Center for Nonprofits, for our first session.

When you’re thinking about forming a nonprofit organization, many issues must be considered before you actually take the plunge. In this first Saturday Seminar, we will look closely at these issues and identify the milestones on the path to nonprofit formation. Handouts including checklists will help you keep track. Lunch will be provided. $20 per person. Pre-register by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 15. November’s Saturday Seminar, November 14, will explain the practical steps to starting a nonprofit organization, from incorporation through bylaws.

Our monthly Saturday Seminar series will offer a close look at nonprofit topics; with lunch included, you will have time to network with other attendees from the nonprofit community. Watch for more topics in Spring 2016.

You MUST preregister for these sessions by 5:00 pm on the Thursday before. Call (508) 264-5996 or email to for more information or to pre-register.




Introducing the Nonprofit World

Wednesday, September 23, 6:00-8:00 pm, 

at the Legal Center for Nonprofits

Feeling entrepreneurial? Do you have an idea to start something? Maybe it’s a nonprofit? Distinct differences separate the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, and it isn’t the lack of a profit that makes the determination.

In this new, free program from the Legal Center for Nonprofits, we will look at what distinguishes the nonprofit organization from the for-profit, how to tell if your idea is suited to a nonprofit, and we will give you on an overview of what it means to be nonprofit. Join us on Wednesday, September 23, at 6:00 pm, at 412 County Street, New Bedford. No cost to attend but pre-registration is recommended. Call (508) 264-5996 or email to for more information or to pre-register.

September Programs!

Nonprofit Advocacy Basics
Wednesday, September 16, 6:00-8:00 pm, $10

Is your nonprofit involved in advocacy? Should it be? Learn to distinguish lobbying, issues advocacy, and political activity, and find out what a 501(c)(3) organization can do.

Introduction to Nonprofits
Wednesday, September 23, 6:00-8:00 pm, FREE

Are you thinking of starting a nonprofit? This overview will give you a sense of the sector and what it takes to start a nonprofit.

Board Expectations – Wednesday, September 30, 6:00-8:00 pm, $10

Have you been invited to join a nonprofit Board of Directors? What does a nonprofit expect of its Board members? Bring your questions about Board service.

Please pre-register for programs as seating is limited.

All programs are held at the Legal Center for Nonprofits, Inc., 412 County St., New Bedford, MA, inside the Inter-Church Council house. Off-street parking is available next to and behind the building. For information and to pre-register, please call Linnea Michel at (508) 264-5996, or email to, or visit

Our Programs are supported by a grant from

the Island Foundation

Volunteers Needed!

The Legal Center for Nonprofits is seeking volunteers to assist with various aspects of our program.  If you think that helping LCN serve the nonprofit community would be satisfying work, please consider applying.

Volunteers can serve in various roles. For example, volunteers may assist with program planning or coordination, fundraising, clerical and general office work. Law students or recent law school grads can gain a deeper understanding of nonprofit law along with experience working with nonprofit clients.

To apply for a volunteer position, please complete and submit our Volunteer Application by email to, or by postal mail to Legal Center for Nonprofits, 412 County St., New Bedford, MA 02740.

Welcome Back!

With August waning, Fall is nearly upon us, and that means new programs from the Legal Center for Nonprofits!  Stay tuned…our new program schedule will be up soon!

New Programs Scheduled

I’m frequently asked for the does and don’ts of writing minutes of meetings.  If this has been on your mind, you’ll want to plan now to attend our next session, Drafting Agendas and Minutes for Nonprofit Meetings, on Wednesday, June 10, at 6:00 pm.  We will discuss the taking of minutes, plus we’ll give attention to the Agenda, an often overlooked tool that can improve meetings dramatically.  Admission for this program is $10 per person.

On Friday, June 12, we’ll have a morning session to explore Employee Handbooks in the Nonprofit Context.  If your organization has a few staff members, you have probably thought about using an employee handbook.  But you might also have heard that such handbooks are full of traps for the unwary.  New Bedford employment lawyer Nan Evans will help you sort fact from fiction and help you assess your nonprofit organization’s needs for its employee handbook.   Admission for this program is $25 per person.

Both programs will be presented at our office, inside the Inter-Church Council house, 412 County Street, New Bedford, MA.  For more about our programs, go here.  For contact information or directions to our location, go here.


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

Plymouth Youth Soccer Association, Inc. (Plymouth, MA)

Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, Inc. (Mansfield, MA)

Jumpstart Your Fundraising!

What will give your organization the most bang for its fundraising buck?  Where should you put your effort?  What steps will make the most difference in bringing dollars to your nonprofit?  Find out when well-known local nonprofit leader and experienced grant-writer Lee Blake and development professional Kristen Sarkarati team up to present Jumpstart Your Fundraising at the Legal Center for Nonprofits on Wednesday, April 15, at 6:00 pm.  Admission is $10 per person, payable at the door.  But please pre-register as seating is limited!

Important Reminders!

Annual Filings!

Many nonprofit organizations have a calendar year fiscal year. If your organization is one of these, it’s time to think about required annual filings to the Internal Revenue Service (Form 990/990-EZ/990-N), and to the Charities Division of the MA Attorney General’s Office (Form PC), if your organization is a charity.  Go here for Form PC information.  Go here for IRS annual filing info.  Failure to file annually with IRS for 3 consecutive years results in automatic revocation of tax-exempt status.

If your organization did not file an Annual Report with the Secretary of the Commonwealth by the November 1st due date, you can and should still do so.  The form available here is very simple, and the filing fee is only $15.  Failure to file these Annual Reports for two consecutive years can result in revocation of your organization’s corporate status.  While corporate status can be revived, it’s expensive, and includes filing all missing Annual Reports, at $15 each.

MA Dept of Revenue

If your nonprofit organization is a corporation, it must register with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.  This is where charities apply to document exempt status from state corporate tax, as well as to apply for exemption from Massachusetts sales and use taxes. Organizations with staff will use the online portal for payroll tax filings.  Registration is entirely online, and you must provide an EIN (employer ID number) and your organization’s name must match the name on the EIN and on the Determination Letter. At the conclusion of the online registration, you will be provided a fax number to which you should submit your organization’s IRS tax-exempt status Determination Letter, and within a few weeks, you will receive the ST-2 certificate.  Present the ST-2 certificate when making organizational purchases to show that your organization is exempt from sales tax. Go here to register with MA DOR (Webfile for Business).

New Programs!

And finally, don’t miss our new programs! Check our Program page for the latest additions.

Tax-exempt Status! Congratulations!

We are proud to announce that

the Legal Center for Nonprofits, Inc.,

has been recognized by the IRS as a

501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity!

But wait–we have more great news!

Congratulations to our Clients!

The following organizations have been recently recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt organizations:

Dudley L. Brown Post 2846 Veterans of Foreign Wars (Onset, MA)

Helfand Farm Community Gardens, Inc. (Dartmouth, MA)

Hemingway Language Institute, Inc. (Fall River, MA)

Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of New England, Inc. (Marion, MA)

Mastery School of Independent Learning, Inc. (Fall River, MA)

Minuteman Chapter, Inc. (Dartmouth, MA)

Odie’s Place, Inc. (Dartmouth, MA)

SouthCoast Bikeway Alliance, Inc. (Taunton, MA)