Question: What about next year?

I am looking to start a PTO at my school (along with 2 other people). We currently have a PTA, but we feel that the students would be better served with donations that stay "local". I have looked into Incorporating AND applying for the 501c3...but what about NEXT year. Would my 2 friends and I have to re-incorporate, or would it pass to the next group of leaders to do? Once we pass on the offices to another group of parents, what happens to the initial people who filed the Articles of Incorporation or the Form 1023 for non-profit status?? Are we liable if anything happens down the road (even if we are no longer in office?)

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
You would incorporate first, then apply for 501c3 status. Once you receive 501c3 status, that status stays in effect as long as the group files its annual information return with the IRS (form 990N, typically) and abides by the handful of rules governing tax-exempt organizations -- primarily that you act in accordance with your mission and avoid getting involved in politics. Incorporation is continuous as long as you keep up with annual state filings. So it's important to hand that information off to the next set of officers.

Both incorporation and 501c3 status are awarded to the organization, not to the individual officers, so you wouldn't have any responsibility once new officers take over.

Our PTO Startup Guide has detailed and helpful information.

Also, the IRS just made the process of apply for 501c3 a lot easier.

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