FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FAQS
- What kind of assistance is available through the Management Assistance Program?
- When is the Rooney Resource Center open to the public?
- How do I find a grant to fund my project/idea?
- How do I apply for a grant from the Humboldt Area Foundation?
- What workshops are scheduled?
- How do I start a nonprofit organization?
- Where can I find a list of nonprofits?
- Where can I find a grant?
- What information can I find on scholarships?
- How do I reserve the meeting room(s)?
Q: What kind of assistance is available through the Management Assistance Program?
A. The Management Assistance Program offers the following services to nonprofit organizations:
Rooney Resource Center – Research Library containing materials on fundraising, grantwriting, tax and legal issues, leadership, strategic planning, starting, merging and dissolving a nonprofit and boards of directors. The library is a Cooperating Collection of The Foundation Center (funding research directories) and contains periodicals of the nonprofit sector.
Workshops – For more information about workshops currently being offerd at the foundation, please contact us at 442-2993. Customized Board Seminars and Technical Assistance Program – These two award programs can help offset the cost of having a professional consultant tailor training to your organization’s needs. See more details about Customized Board Seminars and Technical Assistance Program.
Information and Referral – We can assist you by providing free, accurate and timely answers or referrals to nonprofit management questions. Call the Foundation at (707) 442-2993 for details.
Newsletter – Quarterly publication containing articles addressing issues of the nonprofit sector and workshop schedule. Add yourself to the newsletter mailing list.
Q: When is the Rooney Resource Center open to the public?
A. The Rooney Resource Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Center is closed on weekends and holidays.
Q: How do I find a grant to fund my project/idea?
A. We offer a Resource Center Orientation/Funding Research workshop every month. Participants in this workshop are shown the step-by-step process of finding foundations most likely to fund individual projects. Grants are generally available to nonprofit organizations, not individuals. You may call the office or check the calendar to see when the next workshop is being offered. This is a FREE workshop, and there is no pre-registration necessary.
Q: How do I apply for a grant from the Humboldt Area Foundation?
A. The Humboldt Area Foundation has Application Guidelines available upon request or online. Interested organizations should carefully read the guideline to determine if their project/organization is eligible and falls within HAF’s funding priorities. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions about applying for a grant.
Q: What workshops are scheduled?
A. Please see our current workshop schedule.
Q: How do I start a nonprofit organization?
A. Forming a Nonprofit Organization: A Checklist
Every nonprofit organization must have a carefully developed structure and operating procedures in order to be effective at fulfilling its purpose. Good governance starts with helping the organization begin on a sound legal and financial footing in compliance with the numerous federal, state, and local requirements affecting nonprofits.
Determine the purpose of the organization. Every organization should have a written statement that expresses its reason for being. Resources: Board members, potential clients and constituents.
Form a board of directors. The initial board will help translate the ideas behind the organization into reality through planning and fund-raising. As the organization matures, the nature and composition of its board will also change.
File articles of incorporation. Not all nonprofits are incorporated. For those that do wish to incorporate, the requirements for forming and operating a nonprofit corporation are governed by state law. Resources: Your secretary of state or state attorney general's office.
Draft bylaws. Bylaws--the operating rules of the organization--should be drafted and approved by the board early in the organization's development. Resources: An attorney experienced in nonprofit law.
Develop a strategic plan. The strategic planning process helps you express a vision of the organization's potential. Outline the steps necessary to work toward that potential, and determine the staffing needed to implement the plan. Establish program and operational priorities for at least one year. Resources: Board members; planning and management consultant.
Develop a budget and resource development plan. Financial oversight and resource development (e.g., fundraising, earned income, and membership) are critical board responsibilities. The resources needed to carry out the strategic plan must be described in a budget and financial plan. Resources: financial consultant.
Establish a record keeping system for the organization's official records. Corporate documents, board meeting minutes, financial reports, and other official records must be preserved for the life of the organization. Resources: Your secretary of state or state attorney general's office.
Establish an accounting system. Responsible stewardship of the organization's finances requires the establishment of an accounting system that meets both current and anticipated needs. Resources: Certified public accountant experienced in nonprofit accounting.
File for an Internal Revenue Service determination of federal tax exempt status. Nonprofit corporations with charitable, educational, scientific, religious, or cultural purposes have tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) – or sometimes section 501(c)(4) – of the Internal Revenue Code. To apply for recognition of tax exempt status, obtain form 1023 (application) and publication 557 (detailed instructions) from the local Internal Revenue Service office. The application is an important legal document, so it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney when preparing it. Resources: Your local IRS office, an attorney.
File for state and local tax exemptions. In accordance with state, county, and municipal law, apply for exemption from income, sales, and property taxes. Resources: State, county, or municipal department of revenue.
Meet the requirements of state, county, and municipal charitable solicitation laws. Many states and local jurisdictions regulate organizations that solicit funds within that state, county, or city. Usually compliance involves obtaining a permit or license and then filing an annual report and financial statement. Resources: state attorney general's office, state department of commerce, state or local department of revenue, or county or municipal clerk's office.
Other steps include:
- Obtaining an employer identification number from the IRS
- Registering with the state unemployment insurance bureau
- Applying for a nonprofit mailing permit from the US Postal Service
- Obtaining directors' and officers' liability insurance
Q: Where can I find a list of nonprofits?
A. At www.guidestar.org you can search for nonprofits both locally and worldwide.
Q: Where can I find a grant?
A. Grants are generally available to nonprofit organizations, not individuals. Funding research workshops are offered on a monthly basis at the Rooney Resource Center. You may call the office or check the calendar to see when the next workshop is being offered.
Q: What information can I find on scholarships?
A. We have 79 scholarships available through the Humboldt Area Foundation. Our scholarship application is available in mid-February and due on March 15. For more information, visit our Scholarship page.
Q: How do I reserve the meeting room(s)?
A. Call the Foundation at (707) 442-2993.