Nonprofit Overview

When you are looking to start a nonprofit organization, information is important. You will first need to develop a tax exempt purpose for your organization, then find individuals for your Board of Directors, and ultimately determine which state and federal regulations impact your operations. We have created this guide as an outline to help you with your research.

Developing a Tax Exempt Purpose

The overall purpose of most corporations is to earn a profit for its owners. Tax exempt nonprofit organizations (nonprofits) can and should also earn profit. However, any profit earned must be used in support of the nonprofit’s tax exempt purpose.

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North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation

In order to operate a nonprofit organization, you must choose a legal structure. In North Carolina, you have a choice of three: (1) a nonprofit corporation, (2) an unincorporated nonprofit association, or a (3) a charitable trust.

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Nonprofit Corporate Administration

The administrative structure of a nonprofit corporation is similar to a business corporation. You will have directors and officers, but you can also have committees, members, employees, and volunteers.

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Board Powers and Responsibilities

A North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation is governed by its Board of Directors. Nonprofit Boards are in charge of corporate assets and it oversees the operation of the corporation.

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Avoid the Pitfalls

Financial transparency is important to the IRS. Form 1023 is a long and detailed document. It often asks for the same information more than once, but each time, in a slightly different way. The goal, of course, is to make sure that applicants honestly qualify for tax exempt status and that potential problems are immediately identified.

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