This book is an excellent step by step guide for starting your non-profit corporation in California. The author does a lot of hand holding, which is especially helpful when it comes to filing your 1023 with the IRS which establishes your tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization.
So here is what you will get out of the book:
1)Should you form a non-profit or a regular business?
He discusses the advantages and disadvanges of a non-profit.
2)501(c)(3)- What is it, do you qualify?
He goes in to detail on if your organization's purpose and activities qualifies you as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with all of its tax advantages. This is a key and important consideration. He also goes into the detail about the structure of your organization- the directors, officers, and how officer's/director's salaries and family affliations might affect non-profit status. He gives plenty of examples, which I found very helpful.
(3)Step by Step filing of articles of incorporation with the State of California.
He gives sample articles of incorporation for "public benefit corporations", which a general category as well as religious corporations. He give plenty of information on how to modify these articles to your individual needs.
(4)Step by Step creation of Bylaws. Again, discussion of each point in the bylaws with suggestions for modification to suit your needs.
(5)Filing for tax exempt status with the State of California and the IRS. This is potentially the most daunting part of the process, but I found that he takes you through it slowly, step by step, to make it as painless as possible although I am sure it is still a somewhat painful process.
(6)Finally he takes you through how to keep corporate records, and conducting your first board of directors meetings.
All of the forms, sample bylaws, articles of incorporation, IRS instructions, etc. are found on the CD rom that comes with the book.
What the book doesn't provide:
--Some practical and common questions did remain unanswered. For example, Lets say you pour seed money into a non-profit corporation, from your own pocket, to pay for travel, meetings, conferences and other promotional activity. Is this tax deductable to you?
--Doesn't offer very much guidance of where there are free university and other resources for new non-profits. This would have been very helpful.
Perhaps both of these like that are beyond the scope of the book.
If you are looking for a book that will give you an very good understanding the structure of a non-profit corporation and a practical step by step guide of how to form one and fill out the proper paperwork, I highly recommend this book.