If you’ve been following Team NC over the last year and a half, you’ve probably heard either Jess or I talking about various steps we’ve taken to become a nonprofit. (As a reminder, the reason we had to do this was because the “fully functioning” nonprofit we thought we inherited from Al Milek after the 2016 Games had actually lost its nonprofit status in 2015.)
Jess and I messed around ourselves for a while with trying to start the paperwork to form a nonprofit corporation, but we didn’t really know what we were doing and never got very far. We procrastinated and we got busy dealing with other things that needed to be done for the team (getting a post office box, creating the team brochure, getting the new website up and running!) We enlisted the help of a lawyer friend at the end of last year, who offered some assistance, but since this is not her area of expertise her help was limited. We even asked TGA for help and thought about the consequences of trying to shelter our organization under another similar nonprofit in NC either for the short-term or permanently. But ultimately we wanted the team to be its own nonprofit, an entity able to function independently according to our own needs. What we really needed was a real lawyer to help us, but we had no money.
In the middle of March, I got fed up with the lack of progress. I did a google search for nonprofit lawyers in Raleigh and found five to call up and ask for help – pro bono. I left five messages; two called back. The first one was Jody Joyner of Moore & Van Allen. He helped me sort out what had happened with our team’s previous nonprofit and met with me a few days later to talk through the process and get started.
About a week later, we filed the Team’s Articles of Incorporation. Next we worked on the Bylaws. Once the state processes the Articles, then we can begin the federal process of applying for a tax-exempt nonprofit and get our EIN number. This will allow us to set up an official bank account for the team as well as change our PayPal account to a nonprofit account, which has smaller fees withdrawn for each transaction. I’m hoping to get our nonprofit status by June. That should be possible, according to our lawyer.
If anyone would like to see copies of our Articles of Incorporation or our Bylaws (after the Board has finalized them), let me know!
Health and happiness,
Laura P Smith, Team Co-Manager
Double Lung Recipient, 2014