To create a scholarship fund, it seems to be necessary to have a non-profit trust. There are certain rules for creating a nonprofit, and there are plenty of resources that walk those interested through the steps. There are some choices to be made, like mission, name, board of directors, etc., that will be included in future entries here.
The steps outlined at usa.gov are:
A name should represent the mission of the organization and a good name is supported by the board of directors. The board should include members with ties to Ashland and members who reside in Ashland. I'm thinking a trust is the best route, but need to look further into it. Once these are done, the paperwork can be filed. I think the articles of incorporation can actually be filed before a board is determined, but I need to look into it more.
I think this organization would be classified as a charitable or religious organization (501(c)3).
Association vs Trust vs Corporation?
Wisconsin Specific Requirements for 501(c)(3)
Other Wisconsin Specific Resources:
Short-term plan: offer a scholarship and fund it through donations.
Medium-term plan: offer technology programs for the community and fund scholarship endowment with donations and fundraising events
Long-term plan: offer free consulting to community businesses, regular technology programs for the community, a scholarship endowment, and donations to Ashland technology resources funded through donations, fundraising events, and a retail store.
There was some confusion about nonprofits being able to offer scholarships. It seems that some concerns around this are: offering the scholarship to a relative of the nonprofit, offering a scholarship that is not aligned with the mission of the nonprofit, not having a specific fund for the scholarship - using funds raised for the nonprofit in general to fund the scholarship (1, 2, 3)
Amy Lipka has said that she would be interested in being on the board of the nonprofit and/or the selection comittee for the scholarship.
Revised Mission Statement: Empowering the people of Ashland, Wisconsin to thrive in the technology-driven economy.
Giovanna mentioned that she had read somewhere that donations could not be made by a nonprofit to a member of one of the board's organization - a school employee could not be on the board of a nonprofit offering a scholarship to that school. We need to look into this.
Steps to Creating ATF: Broken Down
Maintaining Status & Compliance: Information and Resouces
Form 20 will be filed when new directors are added to the board.
I have created a page for the nonprofit off of my domain, but will purchase a domain name after the articles of incorporation are filed.
We just filed the Form 102!
We will be able to file form 1023-ez based on the worksheet contained in this document. This is great because the turnaround is less than 1 month and cost is only $275, as compared to the 1023 which has a turnaround time of 3-6 months and cost of $600. Filing this form is considered the most involved part of starting the nonprofit and estimates are 100 hours to complete. But, this will have to be done after a couple more steps are completed.
Our next step now is to apply for an employer identification number. Turnaround time for online application is immediate. We must only wait for our articles of incorporation to go through, which has an expected turnaround of about 7 business days. According to the online application link above, we are eligible for online application. We should not appoint a nominee during application because a nominee is defined: "someone who is given limited authority to act on behalf of an entity, usually for a limited period of time, and usually during the formation of the entity".
I was expecting an email or correspondence that our corporation was registered with the State of Wisconsin, but had not heard anything over a week after filing. I checked the listings of corporations and found the corporation was registered! Here is its listing.
Oh! and I purchased a domain for the nonprofit: ashlandstechnologyfuture.com . I was a little worried that the domain might be taken once the corporation's name was registered.
Updates to this page have been slow, but updates for the nonprofit have not! We have nearly completed the by laws (just need to fix references to other parts of the document). We have also applied for and received an EIN using the online application. We have also nearly completed the conflict of interest policy document. There has also been progress on the website; we purchased a digital ocean droplet and configured the domain to point to the digital ocean droplet - development on the website can now begin.
We are working on the Articles of Incorporation document now and getting ready for our first board of directors meeting. This is in preparation for form 1023 EZ which will be filed to determine our tax exempt status. We've still got a lot of work ahead for that form...
Giovanna has completed a presentation describing the scholarship and nonprofit. It's here for now.