Serrano Sponsors Not-for-profit Incorporation Workshop

José M. Serrano

February 05, 2009

More than 40 people attended a not-for-profit incorporation workshop on Tuesday evening. The event offered vital information on how organizations can apply for 501(c)(3) tax exemption status.

Senator Serrano sponsored the workshop along with the Bronx Council on the Arts and CheckSpring Bank. The Legal Aid Society's Community Development Project helped to organize the panel, which included Susan Chase, an attorney with the Project, and Alison King, and attorney at Kaye Scholer LLP.

"Non-profits are the foundation and the fabric of our community," said the Senator. "The goal here is that residents understand the challenges to incorporate, and that we provide them with the tools and the motivation to succeed."

Ms. Chase and Ms. King began with the basics of incorporation in an effort to help organizations avoid needless mistakes. The presentation then looked more in-depth at critical legal documents, including certificates of incorporation, by-laws and applications.

They also discussed alternatives to incorporation such as fiscal sponsorship, which allow start-up organizations or individuals artists to partner with an existing 501(c)(3). All attendees were provided a free booklet, and also learned how to obtain free legal services.

"In a bad economy, it's never been more difficult to run a non-profit," said the Senator. "But it's also never been more important. We need inspired folks who can establish new social safety

nets, whether it's recreation for youth, healthcare for seniors, or the artistic endeavors that infuse creativity and hope into our community."