Category Archives: Community Organizing

So you want to start a nonprofit?

“So you want to start a nonprofit?” This is a question I’ve been asking a few times a month as I meet with people interested in creating change through a mission-driven organization. I leave these meetings feeling rejuvenated, excited and inspired by the innovative ideas that are coming forward in our corner of the world.

There is a perception that becoming a nonprofit is “hard.” I challenge the startups I work with to throw that idea out the door. With the release of the 1023 EZ, small nonprofits are able to file for 501c3 status with a three-page form. According to the IRS, almost 70% of applicants qualify for the EZ version of the form. For many organizations, gone are the days of five-year financial projections, descriptions of programs and services, and other questions that the long form asks. Want to see what I mean? Check out the 1023 EZ form.

For those organizations that aren’t eligible for the 1023 EZ, the long form asks more in-depth questions, but these are things you need to be able to answer as you charge forward with a solid plan for your large organization.

How do you know if you qualify for the 1023 EZ? Scroll through to page 13 of this instruction booklet that will help you determine which form is for you!

Do you have a big idea for a nonprofit in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? Let’s chat! Email to set up a free consultation.

Graduation and alcohol don’t mix

High school graduation will soon be here. With graduation come open houses and other parties. With parties often comes drinking. I’d like to remind all community members to be extra vigilant this time of year to keep our young people safe and healthy by keeping alcohol out of their hands. Some parents may be tempted… Continue Reading

We are all in this together!

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”― John Lennon At this time in history, it is more important than ever that we join forces and share resources – both human and material. It increases the impact and reach of the efforts and makes us think about what… Continue Reading

Tips for Working With Schools

Busy, busy, busy!  Everyone is always busy and sometimes we feel our requests are left “on the back burner.”   As a retired school employee, I can relate to some of the hectic days that occur in schools.  Just when you think things are moving along smoothly, the flu breaks out, or a major snowstorm cancels… Continue Reading

Teach Me a Thing or Two

When we hear the word “mentor,” I think most automatically assume that the mentor is older than the person being mentored. Wisdom and knowledge don’t automatically come with age and experience. Oh yes, I have had many mentors throughout my 55 years who were older than me. Looking back, the common trait possessed by these… Continue Reading

What is this Mastermind thing?

What happens when you put 3-5 people that work at nonprofits in the U.P. on the phone to with little to no agenda? Magic. Pure Magic. A few years ago, we had the idea of creating peer learning circles for nonprofit executive directors in communities across the U.P. In theory, it was a great idea.… Continue Reading

#GivingTuesday Tips

Are you ready for #GivingTuesday? Celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by  92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation. The organizations, in addition to a number of partners and influencers, started the campaign as a way to give back to the community in response to the commercialization… Continue Reading