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bullet Topic: The Center for Nonprofit Development?
    Posted: 9/10/03 at 4:38pm
Hi! I am the co-founder of a newly incorporated theatre company. I got a letter in the mail from the Center for Nonprofit Development in VA, with a coupon to file our 501(c)3 through them for $295.00 ($300.00 savings) I am wondering if anyone else has done this? We are new at this filing stuff so, we aren't sure. I am thinking of talking to a tax preparer but, what's the deal with this company? It seems like a good deal, we just want to do the right thing. Thanks...
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Mike Polo
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bullet Posted: 9/11/03 at 7:45am
I can't find any reference to a Center for Nonprofit Development located in Virginia on the web. I've also never heard of them. Frankly, I'd be leery of anything that came to you in this fashion. I think you'd be better off discussing your 501(c) status with either an accoutant or a lawyer that you trust. After all, after establishing a non-profit group, you are going to want to have a CPA periodically audit your books and make sure you are compliant with tax codes. Working locally is a much better way of doing things, in my opinion. In addition, you may be able to get a local CPA to donate his/her work.
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bullet Posted: 9/11/03 at 8:23am
Don't be afraid of the 501(c)(3) process. I did it for our theater. It took several hours but was not something that anyone who has been involved in a business could not do. The biggest issue is having financial statements for any year that you have completed and (more difficult) a budget for the next three years. The budget is easy if you have a track record - it will just be a continuation of the past with adjustments that you think will happen (more ticket sales, reusing set pieces you bought, more donations and grants, etc.) If you have not been in operation how can you tell how many tickets you will sell? How can you tell what your administrative expenses will be? At the same time, if you do not know these things, your organization might be in trouble an not know it. How can you tell if you are over budget in expenses or under budget in revenue if you don't have a budget? If you have a budget, the paperwork for the 501(c)(3) is easy.

If you need additional information, contact me directly.

Deal with people you know (and who might be willing to donate something back to you in the future).
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