Tag Archives: charities

Cameron2head

Cameron Carter Named Partner at Rose Law Group

Cameron CarterArizona’s largest female owned law firm is proud to announce the appointment of Real Estate and Transactional Attorney Cameron Carter as the firm’s new partner at Rose Law Group pc (RLG).

Carter, who specializes in Real Estate Transactions, Acquisition, Due Diligence, Real Estate Finance, Development/Redevelopment, Land Use/Entitlements and Development Agreements, first joined RLG as a law clerk in 2006 while finishing law degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

After passing the Arizona State Bar, Carter began practicing Real Estate law assisting clients with numerous acquisitions and depositions of the purchase and sale of land, multifamily and commercial properties.

Since 2007, Carter has also been advising clients on Development Impact Fees, Commercial Leasing, Closings, Investments, Landlord/Tenant, Tax Liens, Trustee’s Sale/Foreclosure, Construction, Municipal Law, Renewable Energy, Business Transactions and Community Associations.

He’s represented farmers, investors, developers, local and national home builders, REITs, charter schools, landlords and non-profit corporations in a variety of real estate transactions and other real estate and business matters.

“This has been a long time goal of mine to be a partner at Rose Law Group,” said Carter. “I enjoy helping clients add value by tackling complex real estate and development issues.  I’m thrilled to continue helping founder Jordan Rose implement her vision for providing exceptional service to our clients.”

While at Rose Law, Carter has worked to solve a number of issues involving development impact fees, building permits, eminent domain, right of way acquisition, rezoning cases, and use permits. Carter also works on a variety of election law matters including initiative and referendum, political committees, candidate qualification and campaign finance issues.

Jordan Rose founded Rose Law Group in 2000 and the firm quickly developed the reputation as being of one Arizona’s most innovative firms in the state.  Since its inception, Attorneys Court Rich and Ryan Hurley have also become partners.

Rose said Carter’s unique background of serving as a commercial construction manager at Jokake Construction, and holding a real estate broker’s license allows him to provide solid legal advice and makes great real estate business sense.

“I have seen a lot of great real estate attorneys, but never have I met one with the extensive real life real estate business background of Cameron Carter,” said RLG founder Jordan Rose.  “Cameron lives real estate and has a rare gift. He is both precise in transactional work, and a great land use and zoning attorney.  From the moment he walked in our doors 7 ½ years ago, I knew he was the future of Rose Law Group.  We are really blessed to have Cameron as a partner.”

As part of the new appointment, Carter will also head the Transactional Real Estate Department and with the upturn in the economy, Carter welcomes the challenge.

“The economy is rebounding, and we have to continue helping clients increase values, getting deals closed, recognizing risk, mitigating risks, and just exceeding their expectations on every acquisition,” said Carter.

Carter is a Cactus High School graduate and a fifth generation Arizonan. He feels strongly about serving the community. He has worked as a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the McCormick Ranch Property Owner’s Association, but his most important job is serving as a husband and father of four children.

 

child.hospital

Ronald McDonald House board adds Pixler Ryerson

Carrie Pixler Ryerson, an attorney at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix.

Ryerson practices in the area of labor and employment. She regularly represents employers before administrative agencies and courts, defending against discrimination and harassment claims, wrongful termination and wage and hour issues as well as enforcing restrictive covenants against employees. She received her J.D. from William & Mary School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Arizona.

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McDowell Sonoran Preserve to close early July

Fire danger prompts restrictions and increased patrols -

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, to reduce the threat of wild fires during the Independence Day holiday. Summer temperatures dry out vegetation and create an extreme fire threat that can endanger lives, property and the Valley’s fragile desert. The availability and popularity of fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday increases that threat.

All trailheads into the 27,800-acre preserve will have “closed” signs posted. Scottsdale police, staff and volunteer stewards will patrol the area to advise visitors about the closure and fire threat. Violating the closure is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by up to four months in jail and a $750 fine.

The use of fireworks is prohibited in Scottsdale, but sales are permitted. Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.

“While the legislature mandated that firework sales are permitted throughout the state, our local ordinance prohibits the use of any type of consumer fireworks within city limits,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ford. “Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.”

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses the McDowell Mountains and large areas of the Sonoran Desert north of Dynamite Boulevard.

Visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/fire.

 

Dennis - Suns Check

Fulton Homes’ 3-Point Zone helps nonprofits

While Monday night was fan appreciation night for the Phoenix Suns, thanks to Fulton Homes the Youth Assistance Foundation and the Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (CAMRA) will now divide up $46,000.

It’s all part of the Fulton Homes “Proud to Own the Three-Point Zone” program, a partnership between the Tempe-based homebuilder and the Phoenix Suns.  With each three-point basket made during the season, the Youth Assistance Foundation and CAMRA shared in the $100.  The program began in late October with the opening game tip-off and concluded with a victory Monday night at home against Houston. Fulton Homes Vice President Dennis Webb presented the check to Phoenix Suns officials during the game.

The Youth Assistance Foundation helps to prevent youth violence and promotes positive interactions with law enforcement. CAMRA, along with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Mountain Rescue (MCSO-MR) team, is an all-volunteer and expertly trained technical rescue team dedicated to saving lives through search and rescue operations, wilderness emergency medical services and outdoor safety programs.

“Partnering up with the Phoenix Suns for this program will aid both of the organizations,” Doug Fulton, Fulton Homes CEO, said. “The Youth Assistance Foundation promotes youth health and wellness programs, while CAMRA aids those who find themselves in life and death situations. Fulton Homes is proud to give back to a community where we live and work.”

Fulton Homes reunited this season with the Phoenix Suns to revive the Fulton Homes “Proud to Own the Three-Point Zone” program. In previous seasons, Fulton Homes has donated more than $206,000 over five years to local charities through Phoenix Suns Charities. This year’s partnership included all 80 home and away regular season games broadcast on Fox Sports Net.

SONY DSC

Jones Lang LaSalle Completes $30M Sale of Phoenix Multi-family Property

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets announced the firm closed the sale of La Palma in Phoenix on behalf of LAP LLC of Orange County, California.

Purchased for $30.1M by Seattle-based Weidner Investment Services, the 548-unit apartment complex further cements the local market presence of Jones Lang LaSalle’s new multi-family investment sales practice, created when Executive Vice President John Cunningham joined the firm in fall of 2011.

Cunningham and Vice President Charles Steele led the Jones Lang LaSalle team on this transaction, with assistance from San Diego-based Executive Vice Presidents Darcy Miramontes and Diane Miramontes and Vice President Kip Malo.

“Phoenix has a resiliency that investors trust to grow value,” Cunningham said. “The new owners of La Palma have an excellent opportunity to improve and reposition the asset in a very strong Phoenix marketplace.”

According to Cunningham, Phoenix rental rates were up considerably at the end of the second quarter, reaching an average $774 per month compared to an average $754 in the first quarter of the year. Vacancy has simultaneously decreased, falling from 9.8% in 1Q 2011 to 8.6% by mid-2012.

“That attracts investor dollars, and has ranked Phoenix third in the nation for total transaction volume,” said Cunningham, noting that by August, total transaction velocity in Phoenix already had surpassed its 2011 total volume of $1.49 billion.

The 548-unit La Palma, located on West Bell Road near 7th Avenue, is approximately 90% occupied. It includes 2- and 3-story buildings with 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units ranging from approximately 720 to 1,444 SF.

The 1984-built property sits on 27.6 acres on a major metro arterial. Amenities include two large clubhouses, four swimming pools and multiple sports courts.

A 25-year industry veteran, Cunningham joined Jones Lang LaSalle last year in response to a surge in multifamily transactions and client demand not seen in greater Phoenix for years. He is charged with establishing and expanding the firm’s multifamily investment sales practice in Phoenix and throughout the region. Steele joined the practice in April.

Jones Lang LaSalle is a leader in the Phoenix commercial real estate market. Employing 344 industry experts, the firm offers office and industrial brokerage, tenant representation, facility and investment management, capital markets and development services. In 2010, the Phoenix team completed 3.2 million square feet in lease transactions, directed $60 million in project management and currently has 13.5 million square feet under management.

 

Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets is a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers. The firm’s in-depth local market and global investor knowledge delivers the best-in-class solutions for clients — whether a sale, financing, repositioning, advisory or recapitalization execution. In 2011 alone, Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets completed $60 billion in investment sale and debt and equity transactions globally. The firm’s dealmakers completed $52 billion in global investment sales and buy-side transactions, equating to nearly $216 million of investment trades completed every working day around the globe. In the United States, Jones Lang LaSalle grew its total Capital Markets volumes by 122 percent in 2011 and is quickly gaining market share across all property types. The firm’s Capital Markets team comprises more than 1,200 specialists, operating all over the globe.

 

humana

Humana Invites Nonprofits To Apply For $100,000 Grant

An opportunity for Maricopa County charities to secure significant funding to improve the health and wellness of community residents has just opened up thanks to Humana. Non-profit organizations are now invited to apply for the $100,000 Humana Communities Benefit-Arizona charitable grant, sponsored by health benefits provider Humana Inc.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Humana Communities Benefit program will award a one-time, $100,000 grant to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Maricopa County focused on improving health experiences or building healthy communities. Applications from nonprofit organizations in Maricopa County are being accepted now through June 29. Organizations will be considered in the operational areas of childhood health and education, health literacy and services or intergenerational health. Following a selection process by a panel of local judges, the 2012 grant winner will be announced at a celebratory event on Oct. 25.

“The Humana Communities Benefit-Arizona grant has helped several deserving organizations positively impact community health in ways they may not otherwise have been able to accomplish, and we are delighted to continue this program in 2012,” said Michael Franks, Regional President of Senior Products for Humana’s West Region and co-chairperson of the awards program.  “We encourage all eligible non-profit organizations to apply.”

The Humana Communities Benefit program in Arizona awarded the 2011 grant to Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), which provides independent living services to people with disabilities throughout Maricopa County. The organization used the funds to purchase adaptive exercise and fitness equipment – specifically designed for the physically disabled – for its Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities. The facility, one of only two nationwide to provide this type of service, had its grand opening in February 2012.

“Since 2007, we have contributed more than $700,000 to Phoenix-area community health initiatives led by some of the area’s most innovative nonprofits,” said Curt Howell, president of commercial operations for Humana in Arizona and co-chairperson of this year’s charitable-awards program. “Humana believes strongly in supporting the local communities in which we operate by helping deserving nonprofits in Arizona, and we look forward to continuing the tradition this year.”

More information on the application and the grant are available at www.Humana.com/HCB. Questions can also be directed to Humana by e-mail to ArizonaBenefits@Humana.com.

American Express

American Express Receives 2012 Champions In Health Award

Community Health Charities of Arizona (CHC-AZ) selected American Express as the winner of the 2012 Champions in Health Award.

Selected annually, the Champions in Health Award program honors a local business in Arizona that demonstrates and promotes a commitment to providing a healthy workplace within their company as well as in the community through support of CHC-AZ member charities.

American Express is a global service company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences meant to build business success and improve lives.

In addition to improving lives through its business and providing health and wellness programs for its employees, American Express invites CHC-AZ member health charities to take part in its annual employee giving campaign. During the campaign, American Express employees give personal financial support to the 41 member agencies of Community Health Charities of Arizona.

CHC-AZ provides all organizations the opportunity to participate in workplace give campaigns, and they are dedicated to improving the health and wellness of Arizona residents.

American Express is interested in making a difference in the lives of Arizona residents as well and actively partners with many of CHC-AZ member charities through board leadership, volunteer involvement and fund raising efforts.

For more information about American Express and Community Health Charities of Arizona, respectively, visit americanexpress.com and healthcharities.org.

SRP Donations

SRP Donations ~ Providing More than Electricity & Water

SRP Donations: The Salt River Project (SRP) is providing the Valley with more than just electricity and water.

SRP, with help of its employees, has raised more than $1.7 million for charitable organizations in the Valley and across the state.

The SRP Employee Boosters Association allows employees to donate through a one-time payment or payroll deduction throughout the year.  The funds are then distributed to a number of non-profit charities, including the United Way throughout the Valley, Pinal County, Page and St. Johns.

SRP employees here in the valley raised $1.2 million alone; those in Page and St. John raised $146,000 and $66,000 respectively

The SRP board has also approved a $305,000 donation to the Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW) and another $51,000 for Mesa United Way.  SRP is always the sponsor of the Adopt-a-Pool Fence program through their generous grant of $22,500.

“As the economy continues to recover, many nonprofit agencies are struggling to meet the needs of our community,” said SRP General Manager Mark Bonsall. “SRP recognizes the diversity of programs and services provided by agencies supported by the United Way and in turn, how those agencies help our customers and improve the quality of life of Arizona residents.”

SRP representatives say that these contributions are a part of the company’s ongoing efforts towards improving the quality of life for residents who may be facing challenges.

“The enthusiasm and dedication of our employees have been inspirational,” said SRP Employee Boosters Board President Nicole Abramson, who added the employee booster program is celebrating its 60th year. “I’m very proud of the level of support our employees have given to others in need.”

To read more about SRP donations through  community outreach programs, visit their website at srpnet.com.

You don't have to be santa to give charitable gifts this season

Charitable And Socially Responsible Shopping Sites

There are so many ways to share the spirit of giving to those that need it.

 Many of your favorite online stores have special sections that donate portions of purchases to specific causes. Also, don’t forget the many independent artists and product-specific initiatives like (RED) and Tom’s Shoes that make contributions to improving quality of life as well.

 The list below includes sites in which portions of purchases go toward supporting a variety of charitable causes. These can be in the form of direct donations in someone else’s name, socially responsible, economically supportive and fairly traded gifts, coupons for charitable giving and other philanthropic initiatives.

 Choose what is important to you or the person you are shopping for. These sites operate year round, so you can make a difference everyday not just during the holidays!

 Happy shopping and thank you for sharing this season!

1. GoodSearch
GoodSearch is an online shopping outlet where a portion of your purchase from many online shopping sites will go to your choice of cause or charity.

2. iGive
iGive is another online shopping outlet, where you can register and donate a portion of your purchases from brand name online stores is donated to your cause.

3. GiftBack
At GiftBack, an online gift shopping center, 10% of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice.

4. Nonprofit Shopping Mall
When you purchase your gifts through Nonprofit Shopping Mall, a virtual mall in which you can find many popular retailers, a donation is made to your favorite charity.

5. The Hunger Site
The Hunger Site is an online charitable retailer that donates to charities for hunger, literacy, child health, the rainforest, breast cancer and animal rescues.

6. Greater Good
At Greater Good you can make a donation to a cause of your choice in someone else’s name here.

7. Oxfam America Unwrapped
At Oxfam America Unwrapped you can buy a charitable gift for worldwide communities in need in someone else’s name.

8. Network For Good
At Network for Good you can purchase a gift card for a friend or loved one to be used toward charity.

9. Universal Giving
Universal Giving is a searchable database of volunteer and donation opportunities.

10. Common Kindness
Common Kindness is home to coupons for many popular products. When you use a coupon from the site the organization donates to your favorite charity.

11. Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping wounded U.S. service men and women. On their site you can make a donation in your name or in honor of someone else.

12. USO
The USO (United Service Organization) is dedicated to helping U.S. service men and women by providing care packages and much needed services where they are serving. You can make donations in your name or in honor of someone else.

13. Veterans Of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars advocates on behalf of veterans and ensures they are recognized for their service. You can donate through their website in your name or in honor of someone else.

Ryan O’Meara Opens Outdoor Ice Skating Rink In Scottsdale

Olympian Ryan O’Meara Opens Outdoor Ice Skating Rink In Scottsdale

If you’re from Arizona, chances are you haven’t experienced Jack Frost nipping at your nose while skating around an outdoor rink.

Bust out your mittens, hats and scarves, Arizonans, because that’s about to change.

Olympic ice dancer Ryan O’Meara is bringing winter fun to downtown Scottsdale. The rink will sit outside of Palavela Home, the interior design store he owns with his mother Sue O’Meara, for the month of December, and is open to the public.

“For me it’s so different skating outside,” O’Meara says. “[I’ve] spent pretty much my whole life on a skating rink. … [But] it’s completely different feel.”

The rink isn’t just about family fun, it’s also about bringing attention to downtown Scottsdale retail stores in a rough economy, O’Meara says. With an outdoor rink, customers get a chance to explore the shopping opportunities while having fun, he says.

The rink is “a way to boost the downtown Scottsdale area, as well as giving back to the community,” O’Meara says.

O’Meara teamed the rink up with four local charities, giving each charity a week in December to call their own. Each week 15 percent of store and ice rink sales will be donated to the designated charity. The charities, in order, are Homeward Bound, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, the Arizona Chapter of The ALS Association and Ryan House.

O’Meara will be out on the ice with his partner, Emily Nussear, and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. a local amateur skaters will put on a free show.

But if you’re looking to stake out a piece of the ice to practice your triple salchow or quadruple lutz, you should call ahead. The rink can hold only 40 skaters at a time, and O’Meara strongly suggests you reserve a spot.

This is a unique opportunity to skate outdoors in winter weather that doesn’t give you instant frostbite, O’Meara says.

Wondering how the ice is going to stay frozen? The rink will be made of synthetic ice, which allows skaters to glide around as if on real ice, but without the added cost of refrigeration.

On a side note, Palavela Home is named for the arena O’Meara skated in during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. After retiring from skating, O’Meara transitioned to a career as an interior designer.

If You Go:
Palavela Home
4222 N. Marshall Way
Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251
Hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, except Dec. 23–25
Cost: $15 per 45-minute session–skates included
Reservations: 480-946-1006 or palavelahome@aol.com
www.palavelahome.com

Nonprofits Need To Be Prepared When Asking Law Firms For Pro Bono Assistance

In these tough economic times, nonprofit organizations are increasingly being relied upon for services, even as contributions continue to drop. Doing more with less has become the norm. In this lean environment, what happens if a nonprofit organization hits a legal road bump that could require hours of work from an attorney or law firm?

If they are lucky, nonprofit directors have planned for this contingency. In reality, however, legal issues sometimes catch nonprofit managers off guard, unprepared and lacking sufficient funds to cover legal expenses. And, finding an attorney or a law firm that provides pro bono legal work can be a challenge. Here are some steps nonprofits can take when seeking pro bono counsel.

Research is key

Ellis Carter, an attorney with Fennemore Craig, suggests doing research.

“The nonprofit should find out whether the firm has a policy regarding accepting pro bono work,” says Carter, whose practice focuses on advising nonprofits, charities and other tax-exempt organizations with respect to corporate, tax and regulatory issues.

Many times, larger firms have policies, liaisons or committees that screen pro bono projects, she adds. The screening ensures that the firm has the appropriate resources and expertise within its practice to provide the legal work required for the project.

“Be cautious about asking a lawyer or a firm to give pro bono advice in an area that they do not ordinarily practice in,” Carter says.

It might be rewarding for an attorney to give back to the community through pro bono assistance, but in complex matters facing nonprofit organizations, such as federal tax laws or state law constraints, it is important that the attorney providing assistance understands these laws, Carter notes.

Be prepared
While some firms have pro bono committees, other firms work through established programs such as the Volunteer Lawyers Program or other community organizations, says Rachel Lewis, marketing coordinator for Bryan Cave.

Demand for pro bono services has increased during this economic downturn, making it especially important for nonprofits to be prepared when seeking pro bono representation, Lewis adds.

“Bryan Cave has seen an even greater need for pro bono and has encouraged its lawyers to expand their commitment,” she says.

That means attorneys providing pro bono services will need to have a clear picture of what types of pro bono services organizations need and how best to allocate resources in order to meet those needs.

Carter recommends that if a nonprofit organization is planning to approach a law firm to request pro bono legal services, it should be prepared to provide articles of incorporation, bylaws, financial statements, the organization’s IRS determination letter, the organization’s most recently filed Form 990, and a compelling story regarding how pro bono services will help the organization impact the community.

“Obtaining pro bono counsel directly from a law firm to which the organization has no prior connection can be a challenge,” Carter says. “Frequently, law firms take on pro bono cases for nonprofits because one of the firm’s lawyers or clients has a connection to the organization.”

She suggests contacting community programs such as the Volunteer Lawyers Program as a first step toward finding pro bono legal assistance.

Volunteering is encouraged

Don’t be discouraged when seeking pro bono legal counsel. Law firms and even sole practitioners are committed to helping when they can. It is even encouraged.

“We have a special obligation to make our professional skills and other resources available to those who cannot afford to pay for legal services,” Lewis says.

Both Fennemore Craig and Bryan Cave encourage their attorneys to give back to the community through pro bono work.

In Arizona, philanthropic training starts in law school through service learning. The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University encourages students to help those who cannot afford legal services, says Kristine Reich, director of pro bono programs and student life at the law school. Reich coordinates more than two dozen pro bono programs and facilitates community outreach efforts.

Programs such the Advocacy Program Against Domestic Violence (APADV) and Wills for Heroes are just two of the pro bono efforts at the law school.

Students volunteering for APADV visit women in domestic violence shelters and, on an informal basis, answer any legal questions they may have, says Michelle Guina, a second-year law student at ASU and one of the program coordinators.

“The chance to have a legal education is such a privilege,” Guina says. “Pro bono opportunities in law school give you the chance to use what you’ve been given to give back to the community early in your legal career.”

www.fclaw.com | www.bryancave.com | www.law.asu.edu | www.vlpmaricopa.org


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

What It Takes To Form A Nonprofit Or Tax-Exempt Organization

It usually starts with a phone call from a client, or maybe another attorney in your office. Someone wants to set up a nonprofit corporation, usually a tax-exempt charity, often on behalf of a pro-bono client, and assumes it should be pretty easy.

Unfortunately, it’s not.

First, “nonprofit” is not the same as “tax-exempt,” although many people use the terms interchangeably. Nonprofit is a state law concept and is governed by the relevant state statute for nonprofit corporations. In Arizona, that would be Article 10, Chapters 24-40 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Tax-exempt usually refers to being exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Furthermore, there are different types of tax-exempt organizations. The most common are 501(c)(3) organizations such as schools, hospitals, museums, community foundations, etc. But there are also other types of 501(c) organizations such as trade associations, which are exempt under section 501(c)(6), and social welfare organizations, which are exempt under section 501(c)(4).

Second, although the state filings to establish a nonprofit corporation are not unduly burdensome, there are a number of technical requirements that need to be followed. Also, the IRS exemption application, Form 1023, is not a simple one-page form; instead, it requires anywhere from 12-20 pages of information depending on the nature of the organization. With few exceptions, such as churches, an organization must file Form 1023 and receive a determination letter from the IRS in order to be tax-exempt, and cannot represent to potential donors that it is tax-exempt until such time as it receives such letter.

State law requirements for Arizona nonprofit corporations
In order to create the corporation under state law, an Arizona nonprofit corporation must file articles of incorporation. These will contain the name, purpose, powers and directors of the corporation, as well as the statutory agent for the corporation. The articles will also state whether the corporation will have members. Nonprofit corporations are not required to have members; in the absence of members, the directors will govern the corporation. However, if there are members, the members will elect the directors and will vote on major corporate actions. The procedure for electing members, and the rights of such members, is often set forth in the articles, but can also be contained in the bylaws of the corporation.

The articles are signed by the incorporator of the organization and are filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The filing fee is $40 ($75 if expedited treatment is desired). The articles are accompanied by a certificate of disclosure, which must be signed by the incorporator and any individuals who are directors or officers at the time the articles are filed. The articles must then be published (within 60 days after the articles are filed) in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the corporation carries on its business for three consecutive publications.

Once incorporated, the organization must file annual reports with the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Charities Division of the Secretary of State. The filing fees for such reports are nominal.

IRS tax-exempt filing (Form 1023)
IRS Form 1023 requires fairly extensive information about the operation of the organization. The two most important sections are Part IV (narrative description of activities) and Part IX (financial data). The IRS will want to know, in some detail, what activities the organization will carry on. In order to qualify under section 501(c)(3), the organization must be operated “exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific … literary, or educational purposes.” The narrative description should go into some detail (at least a page) outlining the exempt purposes of the organization and why such purposes qualify under Section 501(c)(3). If possible, prior IRS rulings relating to similar organizations should be cited as evidence that the new organization qualifies as exempt.

In Part IX, assuming the organization in question is a new organization, Form 1023 asks for projected budgets for the current year, plus the next two years. These budgets require both income information Ñ expected contributions, investment income, operational income Ñ and expense information, such as outgoing grants, fundraising expenses, wages, rent, interest and professional fees. The organization should make a good-faith attempt to be as detailed and accurate as possible, even though it is understood that actual operations may diverge from the projections. The IRS is simply interested in understanding the scale of magnitude of the organization’s operations, as well as the relative allocation between internal administrative expenses, and expenses directly used to carry out the exempt purposes of the organization.

The filing fee is currently $750 (reduced to $300 if the organization expects its annual receipts to be under $10,000). The form should be filed within 27 months of its date of incorporation and, if approved by the IRS, will be retroactive to the date of incorporation. The IRS review time will vary substantially depending on the complexity and size of the organization. For a simple charity with no complications, IRS approval may only take six to eight weeks. However, if the organization has substantial activities or is expected to be involved in significant transactions with private parties, such as an organization focused on community development, it may take six to 12 months for IRS approval. If the IRS has any questions or concerns, it will contact the organization in writing while the application is pending and will normally give the organization 21 days to respond.

Once approved, the organization will be required to annually file Form 990 disclosing the income and expenses of the organization, the compensation paid to officers, directors and key employees, and other information. Form 990 does not normally require the payment of any tax, but is an information return for the IRS to monitor the activities of the organization. Form 990, and Form 1023, are publicly available documents and must be disclosed if someone contacts the organization requesting copies. Thus, organizations should keep such potential disclosure in mind when preparing the forms.

Conclusion
Forming a nonprofit and securing tax-exempt status is a little bit more involved than simply filing two pieces of paper with the state and with the IRS. Anyone working with a new nonprofit should also work with an accounting or legal professional that is familiar with the state and federal requirements pertaining to such organizations.

Michael G. Meissner is a partner at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey’s Cleveland office. He works with the firm’s Phoenix office on tax issues. Meissner can be reached at (216) 479-8593 or at mmeissner@ssd.com. The firm’s Phoenix office can be reached at (602) 528-4000.