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Pros and Cons of Non-profit status

16 years 1 month ago #143023 by PresidentJim

I have never heard of any negatives to being non-profit, other than the initial pains of filing.

16 years 1 month ago #143008 by pzettler

Been in the same spot lately that you are in. You are looking for a Pro's and Con's list. I have been working on completing the paperwork for about a month now, before I take the first step of sending anything in to either the state or federal government.

When I started down this road, I still didn't really come up with the answer that mattered to me in my situation. Then I contacted the head of the county school district finances. He laid it out more clearly for me in no uncertain terms. For KY, state law dictates that rules for the handling of finances within the school system will be established by the state board of education. The state board of education established that a support organization cannot use the EIN number of a school system. Banks requires a Social Security Number or EIN number to open an account. It's foolish for people to establish an account with their social security account as they personally be come liable for any tax liability of the PTO. Assuming most PTO consider holding money under a mattress not a good idea, ... For use, this leave two options. Give the school the PTO money to hold in their bank account and follow their rules to ask to get it back, or go through a formal process of forming a non-profit organization.

There are a lot of posts I've found on this topic throughout the message boards. I found this one by JHB really helpful.

The rules vary from state the state, so be sure to tell people your state and you're more likely to get better advice.
16 years 1 month ago #142979 by OntheGoPTO
We spent about $500 to get our non-profit status. Without this status, we would not have been able to apply for $16,000 in grants we've received this year. When soliciting donations for our silent auction, we also found companies were more likely to donate items/certificates when they learned we are 501c3. We estimate this status helped us gain another $5,000 in auction donations. It has definately paid for itself many times over in just the first year.

The application process really helped us get more organized and our PTO now feels like a well-run business. We had to write bylaws and policies, take a good look at our budget of the last three years, make realistic future earning predictions and look objectively at our programs, events and organization.

The process and the resulting financial rewards are well worth the initial time and money investment.
16 years 1 month ago #142969 by bjj

My PTO is considering moving to non-profit status. We are wondering what the risks are and if there is any downside? Some folks have mentioned the need for insurance and increased paperwork, for example.

Basically, I am looking for thought on a cost versus benefit analysis.
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