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Non-Profit Toolkit Blog Series: Part 7b - Building Your Legal Toolkit - A Non-Profit Legal Resources Directory

Welcome back! Part One of this guide highlighted the importance of a strong legal foundation for your non-profit organization. Now, let's delve deeper and equip you with valuable resources to navigate the legal landscape effectively. This directory serves as your comprehensive toolkit, categorized to streamline your search based on your specific needs.

1. National Legal Resources:

  • National Council of Nonprofits (NCNO): The NCNO is a champion for the non-profit sector, offering a treasure trove of legal resources. Find sample legal documents like bylaws and articles of incorporation, alongside in-depth guidance on topics like governance, tax-exemption, and risk management. Visit their website:

  • Nonprofit Law Blog: Run by attorney Rick Cohen, this insightful blog tackles a broad range of non-profit legal topics. From tax-exempt status to board governance, explore clear explanations and practical advice to equip you for various legal situations. Check it out at:

  • Legal Services Corporation (LSC): The LSC supports a network of legal aid organizations that may be your lifeline for pro bono or low-cost legal assistance. Find your local legal aid through the LSC website:

2. State-Specific Legal Resources:

  • Secretary of State Websites: Most state government websites offer dedicated sections for non-profit organizations within their jurisdiction. These treasure troves may include sample legal documents, filing instructions, and links to relevant state laws. Search for "[Your State Name] Secretary of State Nonprofit Forms".

  • State Bar Associations: Many state bar associations offer referral services to connect non-profits with attorneys experienced in non-profit law. Visit your state bar association's website for more information.

3. Industry-Specific Legal Resources:

If your non-profit operates within a specific field, relevant industry associations might be a hidden gem. They may offer legal resources tailored to the challenges and considerations unique to your sector. Search online for industry associations related to your cause area to see if they provide legal resources.

4. Additional Resources:

  • Boardsource: Boardsource provides resources and training programs on effective non-profit board governance. This knowledge is especially valuable as board structures and operations have legal implications. Explore their website at:

  • NonprofitVOTE: This organization champions non-profit governance best practices, including guidance on bylaws, board composition, and member voting rights. Learn more at:

7b concludes here. In Part Three, we'll explore strategies for building strong legal partnerships and effectively utilizing online resources to empower your nonprofit's legal journey!


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