Bylaws and Nonprofit Archive

Form 1023 and 501(c)(3) and bylaws...Oh, my! We know figuring out nonprofit status requirements and writing and maintaining bylaws can be overwhelming, but you'll find lots of practical guidance in the articles below. Find more helpful tools and info on the Bylaws/Nonprofit resources page.

  • Tax Court Rules on Common Fundraising Practice - A Virginia booster club was faulted for giving credit to families based on the amount they raise.
  • Know Your Group's Legal Status - Answers to frequently asked questions about your parent group’s tax-exempt status and other legal topics.
  • How Good Are Your Bylaws? - Your PTO may be on cruise control today, but having up-to-date bylaws on the books helps protect the long-term integrity of the group from the unpredictability of the future.
  • Protect Your Parent Group From Embezzlement - How to keep your PTO from being a victim of theft, and advice from groups that have gone through it.
  • Is It Legal? - Answers to some common questions about finances, donations, elections, tax-exemption, and more.
  • How To Write PTO Bylaws - Straightforward guidelines to help you write bylaws for your PTO or PTA.
  • How To Start a PTO - Step-by-step tips for getting a new parent group up and running at your school.
  • Tennessee Regulates School Support Groups - Organizations that support Tennessee schools, including parent-teacher groups and booster clubs, are now required to register as nonprofits with the state and are subject to audits by the state comptroller.
  • IRS Cuts 501(c)(3) Paperwork - Effective Sept. 9, 2008, new groups applying for tax-exempt status will no longer have to file Form 8734.
  • PTO vs. PTA: Differences at a Glance - Dues, insurance, nonprofit status, and more—get the scoop on the pros and cons of PTA compared with PTO.
  • New IRS Filing Requirement: E-Postcard - Starting in 2008, even nonprofit organizations with smaller gross receipts must electronically file an information return with the IRS.
  • PTO vs. PTA FAQs - Answers to some basic questions about PTOs and PTAs, including how to get started organizing your group.
  • Should PTOs Pay Expenses? - Under certain conditions, it's OK for PTOs to pay travel and training expenses for board members. And if you don't get reimbursed, here's what you need to know about tax deductions.
  • 10 Key Points About Bylaws - What you should know, why you should have them.
  • Taxes, PTOs, and the IRS - Questions about tax-exemption? Get the scoop on 501(c)(3).
  • Protect Volunteers From Legal Risks - Having a few key policies in place can minimize the risks to parent volunteers.
  • Finding and Winning Grants - Parent groups can and do get grants. Just follow a few simple rules to put together a winning application.
  • Procedures Book: Your PTO's Instruction Manual - How to create policies and procedures books for your leaders. This tool can make a big difference for your group.
  • Insurance: What You Should Know - Are you covered? To make sure your parent group's insurance policy will protect members if a claim is made, there are a few key things you should learn about.
  • Your Group's Legal Status - Is your group tax-exempt? Incorporated? Does it have its own tax ID number? How to find out, and keep your legal records up to date.
  • Tackling Your PTO Tax Return - Even tax-exempt nonprofit organizations need to file a yearly statement with the IRS. With a little decoding, it's not so hard to do.
  • Annual Audit: How and Why - A yearly audit is a key safeguard for your money and a planning tool for the year ahead. Think of it as a "year in review" for your finances.
  • When Schools Merge - Consolidation can be a stressful time for students and parents alike. Here are some ways parent groups ease the transition.
  • Can I Deduct That? - The information you need so that your group's supporters can get the full advantage from their tax-deductible donations.
  • 501(c)(3) for PTOs - How to make your PTO tax-exempt. We sort through the mumbo jumbo and tell you what to expect—from the process and the IRS.
  • Whose Rules, School or PTO? - Collaboration between PTO and school is crucial to success, but it's also important to know who has final say when disputes arise.
  • Create a Mission Statement - Talking clearly and intentionally about group goals can inspire your PTO and help make decisions to achieve them.
  • 5 Smart Financial Controls - Avoid unnecessary headaches with these practices to keep your assets safe and your records clean and up to date.
  • Should You Charge Membership Dues? - Charging PTO membership fees might mean more cash, but perhaps fewer volunteers.
  • What Should PTOs Pay For? - Tighter school budgets mean parent groups are asked to fund more and more items that used to be paid for by the administration.
  • Insurance: Do You Need It? - Without insurance, your group and your officers may be at risk. Here's what you should know to assess your needs.
  • PTO vs. PTA: What's the Difference? - The vast majority of parent-teacher groups are actually independents rather than formally affiliated PTAs.

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