Our Non-Profit Lawyers Want You to Succeed

Starting and forming a non-profit corporation can be complicated.  The Non-Profit Lawyers at High Swartz recognize that proper legal counsel is essential during the formation of any startup, especially a non-profit. Careful documentation and strategic efficiencies are crucial to support a nonprofit’s success for years to come. See below for more information on how to form a non-profit organization.


Our attorneys are active both as representatives of non-profits and in service on non-profits and recognize the crucial role that these organizations play in our community. Over the years, High Swartz has had the opportunity to work for and alongside many non-profit entities. We are proud of our affiliations and just a small sample of those are listed below.

International Ministries | King of Prussia, PA

Baruch S. Blumberg Institute | Doylestown, PA

Bucks County Biotechnology Center, Inc. | Doylestown, PA

Bucks County SPCA | Lahaska, PA

Center for Loss and Bereavement | Skippack, PA

Habitat for Humanity MontDelco | Norristown, PA

HDC MidAtlantic | Lancaster, PA

Hepatitis B Foundation | Doylestown, PA

Housing Visions | Bristol, PA

HumanGood | Lafayette Hill, PA

Inglis House | Philadelphia, PA

KenCrest  | Blue Bell, PA

Knights of Columbus Council 5494 – Fr. Gallen Council | Warminster, PA

Laurel House | East Norriton, PA

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society | Rye Brook, NY

Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP) | Norristown, PA

Mission Kids | East Norriton, PA

Support Center for Child Advocates | Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Baptist Association | Philadelphia, PA

Willow Grove Community Development Corporation  | Willow Grove, PA

How do you start a non-profit?

During the formation process, our non-profit lawyers at High Swartz use their expertise to address potential issues and craft long-term strategies.  From organization, including, board setup, bylaws, preparation of all governing documents, including Document Retention Policies, Conflict of Interest Policy and Whistleblower Policies, etc. Our attorneys also assist with structuring fiscal sponsorship arrangements and applying for non-profit recognition by the Internal Revenue Service and state.  The attorneys of High Swartz will work with you at each step of the journey.

Any person starting a non-profit in Pennsylvania needs to be aware of the legal requirements for operating a non-profit. The legal requirements for formation and operation of a non-profit corporation are very similar to those of a for-profit corporation with one difference, there is no private profit motive for a non-profit. The revenues of a non-profit must go to the non-profit mission.

The key thing that any founder (or founders) of a non-profit must always remember when starting out, that the non-profit must be structured like a business: have directors and officers (president, treasurer, secretary), formal by-laws which address corporate structure, and meetings. Upon formation, all corporate actions must be recorded, especially if there is a plan to seek federal income tax exemption. Pennsylvania non-profits must also satisfy Pennsylvania’s requirements for Charitable Organizations, especially if they intend to solicit funds from the public.

Once the idea for the non-profit is developed, the founder needs to determine, if will it have members, how membership will be determined and how those members will choose the Board of Directors. If it will not have members, it must be decided how the Board of Directors will choose their successors to determine the and how and to satisfy the required corporate formalities.

The keys for a successful non-profit: know your mission, know the laws for compliance, make a plan for organization including compliance for the future and assemble a team for support.

Once a non-profit is formed our attorneys will continue to work with your organization and its financial and tax professionals to insure ongoing compliance with federal and state non-profit laws. Non-profit lawyers of High Swartz provide a full range of services to assist with the continued success of each non-profit it serves including:

  •             Non-Profit Organization
  •             IRS 1023-1024 Submission and representation
  •             Formation documentation drafting (policy guidance)
  •             Board meetings
  •             Tax assessment advice and appeals
  •             Non-Profit Litigation
  •             Maintenance of non-profit 501(c)(3) status
  •             Planned giving and tax-exempt financing
  •             Zoning, land use, sale, and acquisition and leasing of real estate

If you operate a non-profit business and a business lawyer, talk with one of our nonprofit lawyers today.

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