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[whitespace] Non-Profiteer

By Suzanne Barnecut

With the war against big government nearing its victory parade, nonprofits are becoming increasingly important. Organizations that do everything from feeding and sheltering the homeless to environmental watchdogging are becoming vital substitutes for a government that has given up.

Aside from the small, overrated benefit of tax exemption, the dream of a nonprofit is born with the understanding that the organization will provide a needed concrete service to the community.

According to the California Association of Nonprofits (213.347.2071; www.canonprofits.org), the first step is to create a program plan which will outline the organization's mission, activities, budget, funding sources and board leadership.

The second step is to ask yourself: "Does Silicon Valley really need my program?" If the answer is yes, read on.

The third and fourth steps--and this is where you need to be really honest--involve determining whether an existing organization can adopt your project without registering a new nonprofit. Then articles of incorporation and bylaws must be written and filed the Secretary of State.

Now it's time for the people. A nonprofit must have a board of directors, which sounds intimidating to compile, but can be as informal as a spouse and a few friends, though I'd keep the family pets out of the mix.

Finally, it's time for paperwork: Form 1023 must be filed. Fill out Form 3500 for the state, and it's a wrap.

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Streamlined Living: Pare down and live simply.

Put Up Yer Dukes: Don't get mad, get even.

Cruising: Transit made simple.

Soul Relief: Free your inner self.
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Get in on the Gold Rush: Grab a fistful of cash and join the party.

Domestic Bliss: Make your house into a home.

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From the March 16-22, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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