NPL 273  Introduction to Nonprofit Leadership

Build Your Own

This is your chance to dream big.  You are going to draft all the documents you would need to incorporate your own nonprofit organization.


Assume, for the moment, that you have all the community support and resources you need to start a new nonprofit organization.

  1. Develop a prospectus for the organization.  What is its mission (will this include a charitable purpose)?  Whom will it serve?  How will it be governed and staffed? What resources will it need to operate?  How will it obtain those resources, both initially and over the long run?  This is due to me by the end of unit 3a.
  2. You will be incorporating this organization in Minnesota.  Draft the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws that you would file with the Secretary of State.  These will be due to me by the end of unit 3b.
  3. You will need to obtain an IRS ruling of Charitable Status (Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption).  You will also have to file an IRS Form 990EZ after your first year of operation.  These will also be due to me by the end of unit 3b.


You can obtain the IRS forms from their website ( ) and nonprofit incorporation forms from the MN Secretary of State’s Office ( ).  Bylaws must be tailored to the individual organization, but the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has their bylaws online at .  You can get more ideas from the Foundation Center at


This assignment will take some time, but you will find it very useful later in your career—even if you never form a nonprofit corporation on your own, knowing what is expected will help you lead whatever nonprofit organization you are involved with (and could keep you out of trouble with the IRS and the Secretary of State).


Since this assignment will involve cutting-and-pasting and filling in webforms, you will not need to post it on D2L.  If you’d prefer, you can do it in paper form and mail it to (Tony Filipovitch, 106 Morris Hall, Mankato MN 56001) or drop it off in the URSI office (106 Morris Hall).



© 2003 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 15 September 2009