Easily create a cat-related nonprofit in New York
We’re lucky that the majoritoy of TNR services in New York City are free, but that doesn’t let us off the hook that easy! To help out the world, I’ve put together a walkthrough on how to create a cat-related nonprofit in New York State.
I’m not a lawyer, this isn’t legal advice, etc etc. Keeping up a nonprofit definitely takes effort, but the additional grants and donations you can receive with 501©(3) status might make it worth it.
You should read this first, because it’s a more detailed version of what I’m talking about here. It’s about bylaws and board of directors and all of that. Since most TNR groups are all of 3 people or so, you probably don’t have to worry too much about the specifics.
In my notes below I add in a few notes specific to cat stuff.
1511-Fwith the New York Dep’t of State
Registering with the state as a non-profit corporation is the first step, which you do by filling out Form 1511-F.
The first two blanks are the same - your organization name.
Under THIRD, you’ll check the last box and briefly explain what your nonprofit does. For example, Cat Republic’s is
The corporation is formed for the charitable purpose of aiding cats in need, through rescue, spay/neuter, outreach, and adoption. The corporation is not being formed for the purpose of being an Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
If you mention spay/neuter in your statement, you MUST include the phrase The corporation is not being formed for the purpose of being an Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I didn’t have it in there the first time and as a result got rejected.
For the rest:
If you fax your document and get it expedited, the process is pretty quick.
1023-EZwith the IRS for federal nonprofit approval
You used to need a million documents and lawyers and stuff to get federal approval for a nonprofit, but not any more! Hop on over to 1023-EZ - which you can fill out online - and you’ll be set.
Under Part IV, there are a couple options depending on where you think your money will primarily come from. You can read up on the “one third test” if you’d like to be studious about it.
It only took me about two weeks after submission to get this to get granted.
Now it’s back to the state: you’ll need to fill out CHAR410 to register as a charitable giving organization.
The CHAR410 requires a lot of documents, which you should have already as a result of your previous steps. This includes:
I guess it isn’t that many documents, but your bylaws are probably like a dozen pages if you just adapted some stuff from the internet. Remember that mailing 20 pages in a normal envelope needs like 4 stamps!
Get together your paperwork, head on down to the local bank, and you’ll be good to go! Definitely get something with free checking, and I recommend poking around to see if you can get a signup bonus. Even a little $$$ goes far in the cat rescue world!
That’s about it, along with the obvious stuff like “keep really good records” and “make repeating calendar notifications for filing your annual financial statement.”
If there’s anything else you think we should add, feel free to ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org