PTO Startup Toolkit

Our comprehensive startup guide walks you through all the essential steps you need to take to make your group a successful independent entity! The PTO Startup Toolkit includes information on how to get organized, incorporating your group, applying for nonprofit status, writing bylaws, and filing for tax-exempt status with the IRS, including a step-by-step guide to completing IRS Form 1023-EZ.

Did you know that PTO Today Plus members get all our toolkits as part of their membership? If you’re a Plus member, you can download the complete PTO Startup Toolkit right now. To learn more about Plus and all the benefits of membership, including access to all eight of our expert guides (retail value $332), visit

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After your purchase is complete, you’ll receive instructions on how to download the toolkit.


Chapter 1: Getting Started
How This Toolkit Is Organized
A Note About Switching From PTA to PTO
When To Seek Professional Help
Should We Go for It?

Chapter 2: Obtaining an EIN
Getting an EIN Online

Chapter 3: Your Bylaws
Bylaws, Section by Section
Final Steps

Chapter 4: Incorporation: Becoming a Legal Entity
Incorporation, Step by Step
What Are Articles of Incorporation?

Chapter 5: Applying for Tax-Exempt Status Using
IRS Form 1023-EZ

Why Become an Official 501(c)(3) Organization?
How Can Your Group Become Official?
Form 1023-EZ Eligibility Worksheet
Registering on
Form 1023-EZ, Line by Line

Chapter 6: Financial First Steps
Signing the Checks
Opening a Bank Account
Keeping the Books
Financial Next Steps: Obtaining Licenses and Permits, Getting Insurance

Appendix A: Are You Covered?
Do We Really Need Insurance?
Which Policies Should We Purchase?
The PTO Today Plus Advantage

Appendix B: Applying for Tax-Exempt Status Using
IRS Form 1023

Form 1023, Line by Line
Schedules (Additional Forms)
Form 1023 Checklist
Submitting Your Application

Also included:

  • Complete Sample Bylaws
  • Sample IRS Conflict of Interest Policy
  • “Robert’s Rules for Beginners” Handout
  • Incorporation: Key Questions
  • Sample Articles of Incorporation
  • Form 1023-EZ Eligibility Worksheet
  • Form 1023-EZ Completed Sample
  • Form 1023 Completed Sample
  • Form 1023 Statement of Revenues and Expenses
  • Form 1023 Supporting Attachments List


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