Heather Comstock Connects

Helping nonprofits and other volunteer organizations develop strong relationships and a clear voice in the community.

Monthly Archives: June, 2012

The Final Phase – Keeping Your Nonprofit!

This is the final post in the start up series! Thanks for following along! To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, you’ve got a nonprofit, if you can keep it. Now that you have your IRS Determination Letter granting you your status. There are a few additional steps and filings to complete. State Registration Many states require charities …

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Organizational Baggage: Figurative and Literal

In taking over an all-volunteer organization, I was prepared for the figurative baggage that is inevitable with a long-established  group.  I was not, however, considering the LITERAL baggage!  In retrospect, I probably should have asked:  How much stuff I am going to get that will need to be stored? I already knew about the flags …

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Failure IS an Option!

Most of us don’t think about nonprofits closing their doors. It does happen though. What does it mean when that organization is no longer there? In my reading this week, I ran across two articles that analyze the failure of two fairly large and well-established nonprofits and what led to their demise. Nonprofit Quarterly’s Rick …

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Starting a Nonprofit Series: Let the Fun Begin-Completing your IRS Application!

This is the fourth installment in the “Starting a Nonprofit Series” about starting a tax exempt organization. Your 1023 Application is one of the most time consuming steps to forming a nonprofit. This is the form that you file to seek approval to become recognized as a tax-exempt organization under the I.R.S. Code. Keep your …

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A Tale of Three Presidents: Lessons from the Front Lines

Selling the Presidency I am the member of the nominating committee for a small volunteer-based nonprofit in our area. I am not running again this year as other commitments don’t allow me the time to be able to do it. I dreaded making the recruitment calls as the pool of volunteers are mostly stay at …

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Starting a Nonprofit Series: Your By-laws, Your Backbone

This is the third in a series of posts describing the process of becoming a tax-exempt organization.   So you’ve decided to start a nonprofit. You’ve recruited a board, incorporated, and opened a bank account. What’s next? You need your organization’s backbone: By-laws. These are the foundation for how the organization will conduct business and …

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Best/Worst Volunteer Positions Ever

Much of my volunteer philosophy is based more on work AS a volunteer as opposed to the professional time I spent coordinating volunteers. I don’t think volunteers really view the staff as a resource and support and therefore when things aren’t going smoothly they try to muddle through alone. Staff usually don’t find out there …

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Starting a Nonprofit Series: The Paper Trail Begins

This is the second in a series of posts describing the process of becoming a tax-exempt organization.  You can find the first post here. So you’ve taken some time to really think about founding a nonprofit and have come the conclusion that your organization can fill a place that is not being served. What do …

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