Non-Profit Organizations FAQs
With Illinois Non-Profit Lawyer James C. Provenza
- Illinois Secretary of State
- Illinois Department of Revenue-Nonprofit organizations
- Internal Revenue Service
- Partnership for Philanthropic Planning
- Donors Forum
- Single Source Advancement Network
- Chicago Council on Planned Giving
Estate Planning and Nonprofit Fees
We provide an initial consultation where we discuss your situation. At the end of the consultation, we can usually provide you a fee and you can decide whether or not you would like to proceed. We won’t quote fees in advance of the meeting, but we won’t charge for the meeting if you decide not to go forward.
We charge on an hourly basis for probate. Most work is delegated to paralegals to keep the cost down. After an initial meeting we will provide a budget so you know within a range what the project will cost.
For a basic tax return we will quote you a flat fee. If you need extensive tax analysis or help solving issue with the IRS, we will charge on an hourly basis.
Not for Profits
We try to quote a flat fee for most projects, including initial incorporation and preparing the application for tax exemption. We can usually estimate a fee after an initial meeting.
Common Questions Regarding Nonprofits
Below are some of the most common questions James C. Provenza, PC receives:
1. What is a not-for-profit corporation?
A not-for-profit corporation is a corporation authorized to carry out any charitable, religious, educational, literary, or scientific purpose. These corporations raise funds via public and private grant money and donations from both individuals and companies. Specific tax exemptions are available to not-for-profit corporations. Under Illinois law, however, not-for-profit corporations are required to register annually with the Illinois Attorney General’s office.
2. How does a nonprofit receive its tax-exemption status?
Nonprofits in Illinois must send a cover letter requesting the exemption using the organization’s letterhead. The cover letter must be sent to the Illinois Department of Revenue and should also include the following:
- Articles of incorporation, if incorporated.
- The organization’s constitution, if unincorporated.
- The organization’s bylaws.
- An IRS letter reflecting tax-exempt status, if the organization already has one.
- The most recent financial statement (religious organizations don’t need to send a financial statement with this initial request).
- Narrative focusing on the organization’s purposes, functions, and activities. This can include brochures and other printed materials.
- Any other pertinent information regarding the purpose, function, and activities of the organization.
When filing with the federal IRS, you’ll need to do and send the following:
- Determine if your organization is a trust, corporation, or association.
- Gather the organization’s documents, including articles of incorporation for a corporation, articles of organization for a limited liability company, articles of association or constitution for an association, or trust agreement or declaration of trust for a trust.
- Obtain an employer ID number (EIN)
If you’re a 501(c)(3) – Charitable, Religious and Education Organizations, you’ll need to send Form 1023.
If you’re a 501(a) – Other Non Profit or Tax-Exempt Organizations, you’ll need to send Form 1024.
3. Can I start a nonprofit organization?
In Illinois, there are no restrictions as to who can form a nonprofit organization. There are no age, residency, or other legal prerequisites. Nonetheless, you must follow all reporting requirements and operating restrictions.
4. What is the nonprofit organizational structure?
The following information is taken from our Chicago Nonprofit Organizational Structuring page:
There are essentially three elements required to strengthen the chances of success with your nonprofit, including (1) governance, (2) rules and regulations overseeing operations, and (3) an efficient and effective distribution of work. Beyond these three measures, structuring a nonprofit depends on the membership, the setting, and how far along the nonprofit has come in its development.
For nonprofits without members, the most common type in Illinois, organizational structure typically rests with its board of directors, who manage, control, analyze, and implement the nonprofit’s mission and goals. Above the board of directors, however, is both Illinois law and federal tax laws, both of which can entail highly complicated regulations and defaults for Illinois nonprofits.
A sound future based on solid legal and tax planning advice
Contact my law office—James C Provenza, PC—for help with the formation and growth of your non-profit organization. I know that you must stretch your dollars to reach your goals. I pledge to keep my fees reasonable, and I always try to estimate the cost of a project before you approve the work.