Legal Profit

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Profit

Profit

Most commonly, the gross proceeds of a business transaction less the costs of the transaction; i.e., net proceeds. Excess of revenues over expenses for a transaction; sometimes used synonymously with net income for the period. Gain realized from business or investment over and above expenditures.

Accession of good, valuable results, useful consequences, avail, or gain. The benefit, advantage, or pecuniary gain accruing to the owner or occupant of land from its actual use; as in the familiar phrase rents, issues and profits, or in the expression mesne profits.

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As you organize your nonprofit venture, you want to choose a legal structure appropriate for your situation. The United States alone has more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations, ranging from small groups like the Mentor Me Memphis to one of the largest charitable foundations of them all, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, endowed with more than $30 billion.

The following represent your basic options for legal structure:

Informal nonprofits: As the name implies, these organizations are loose-knit groups of like-minded people who get together for activities or to be of service to the community. Examples include local book clubs, self-help support groups, or graffiti cleanup patrols. Informal nonprofits have no legal structure and typically raise and manage only small sums of money. They aren’t big enough to fall under the watchful eye of the IRS.

Nonprofit corporations: Incorporation allows a nonprofit organization to protect its directors and staff from certain types of liability, similar to the protection offered to for-profit companies. Incorporation also ensures that the organization can continue its activities even when the founding members are gone. To get the details on incorporation in your state, check with the office of your Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, or Attorney General.

Tax-exempt nonprofits: Nonprofit corporations with charitable, educational, scientific, religious, or cultural purposes can file for tax-exempt status under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The major types of tax-exempt organizations include

Charitable organizations (religious, educational, scientific, and literary organizations, for example)

Social welfare organizations (civic leagues and community groups)

Labor and agricultural organizations (labor unions and farm bureaus)

Business leagues (trade associations and chambers of commerce)

Social clubs (country clubs, fraternities, and sororities)

Fraternal organizations (lodges and other clubs)

Veterans’ organizations (armed forces groups)

Employees’ associations (employee-benefit groups)

Political organizations (campaign committees, political parties, and political action committees [PACs])

Qualified nonprofits: Donations to qualified nonprofits may be tax deductible — a distinction that can matter a great deal to contributors. Qualified organizations include religious, educational, scientific, and literary groups, as well as child and animal welfare organizations, certain veterans’ organizations, fraternal societies, and more.

For information on whether your organization qualifies for tax-exempt status, check out IRS Publication 557. For a current list of qualified nonprofits, look at IRS Publication 78. Both publications are available on the IRS website.

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Careers with Nonprofit Organizations

The vast majority of public interest law jobs are found in the nonprofit and government sectors. Within the nonprofit sector, the practice settings you can work in and the issues you can focus on lie along an extraordinarily broad spectrum. From lobbying to litigating, from work in a big city to work in remote regions abroad, from hands-on work with the impoverished to protecting civil liberties through appellate advocacy, there is a near-infinite amount of rewarding work to be found in the nonprofit sector.

Here are a few examples of the types of work that public interest attorneys perform with nonprofit organizations:

  • Civil Legal Services – In the U.S., thousands of public interest lawyers work with civil legal services organizations, providing free representation to those who are on society’s margins and unable to afford legal help. Legal services attorneys help clients on a wide variety of non-criminal matters, including public benefits, family law, disability issues, employment, farmworker issues, community economic development, housing, homelessness, elder law, etc.

Legal services programs are typically structured as independent nonprofit organizations, responsible to secure their own funding to operate. Many, but not all, receive the bulk of their funding from the Legal Services Corporation , a congressionally chartered funding organization created to ensure that low-income citizens have access to legal help in civil matters.

The legal services movement has a rich history. It is worth learning about its many triumphs, as well as the challenges it has faced and continues to address today. The National Legal Aid & Defender Association provides an informative historical account on their website’s “About” page.

CNPLS

(CNPLS) was incorporated in 1972 to secure justice for and protect the rights of needy persons in Jackson County, so that such persons shall not, by reason of being in financial need, be denied equal protection of the law. CNPLS provides crisis civil legal assistance to low income and elder residents of Jackson County who are experiencing problems in housing, public welfare, family dissolution, employment, immigration, and major life situations amenable to legal relief.

We are a private non-profit law firm; we are not a government agency. We are licensed lawyers and legal assistants, specializing in elder and poverty law. We handle non-criminal cases for eligible clients. Our funding comes from you, the state and local bar associations, and private foundations, with some state and local government money.

Our lawyers, some of whom have been licensed to practice law for up to 30 years, are highly trained and expert with an 80% success rate. Legal Services’ specialized practice allows attorneys to use a team approach to provide high quality representation while being cost effective and efficient.

CNPLS is the only professional service of its kind in Jackson County. We have resolved nearly 36,000 cases since our formation in 1972. Our success has been a direct result of dedicated staff, the private bar, local and state government, and co-operating community agencies. The vigorous advocacy of CNPLS’ attorneys together with our clients’ courage and convictions have helped create solutions that better the clients’ lives and those of their children. In addition, these resolutions often benefit the community. CNPLS has already had a direct impact statewide and nationally, with its work, some of which has resulted in landmark decisions.

Nonprofits

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Read up on nonprofit organizations, fundraising strategy, and managing volunteers, so your nonprofit corporation can stay in the business of doing good.

Starting a Nonprofit

Follow these steps to form your own nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.

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Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take to form your nonprofit.

Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Status

Under American tax law, churches are exempt from having to pay federal, state, and local taxes.

Termination of your nonprofit’s tax exemption is unlikely, but it’s not impossible.

Nonprofit Fundraising

Most states require nonprofits to register before soliciting contributions from state residents.

Managing Your Nonprofit

While not required by the IRS, every nonprofit should consider adopting governance policies.

Many nonprofits don’t pay their payroll taxes and risk serious consequences with the IRS.

Dissolving a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation

Find out how to go about dissolving a nonprofit corporation in your California.

Find out how to go about dissolving a nonprofit corporation in your Texas.

Find out how to go about dissolving a nonprofit corporation in your Florida.

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