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

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.


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.