How best to set-up non-profit organizations?

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How best to set-up non-profit organizations?

I have recently founded a non-profit organization in CA with a close friend. I filed the paperwork but I want us to be co-founders and co-presidents of our organization. How do I accomplish this legally? Also, can founders of non-profit organizations be included in the board of directors? We want to be president and co-president of our board of directors but we also want to receive a salary as president and co-president of our organization. Finally, can we include a statement in the bylaws such as “Under no circumstances can the board of directors vote to remove the president and co-president”?

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The problems you have are multi-fold. You cannot truly make a profit in a non-profit and collect a salary while sitting on the board of directors. Most non profits like this would be highly scrutinized and the fact you are including yourself as both in the board of directors and essentially as employees would negate any neutrality the board is supposed to have. Additionally, you need to ensure that the provision you would like to add passes muster with the case law in California. By essentially tying the hands of the board, it would lead the way to everyone assuming and perceiving that all board votes and actions are biased. You may wish to discuss your ideas with business incubators in California, who can help you obtain some brochures and guidelines for good and functioning and legal non profits.  


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