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Nonprofit Law/Setting up association Wellness/Recovery Center


We have a small group of individuals who have been working to open a mental health recovery wellness center in our area operated by volunteers.  We are already receiving donations but it will take time to set up a 501.3C status.  Would it be possible to set up an association in order to establish a bank account until the 501.3C status may come through.  We have established a board of directors and have had meetings for 6 months.  What steps would you suggest as we need to move quickly.

I can set up an association or charitable trust in one day and we could obtain the EIN (Employer Identification Number, also known as the taxpayer identification number) within one day so you could set up the bank account.

The IRS may take months to issue the exemption determination
letter, but as long as you file your exemption application within
15 months and are approved for exemption status by the IRS you may
begin full operations upon state incorporation.
See IRS Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization"
which has on page 24, right column, under the heading ""Effective
date of exemption" that the exemption determination is granted
retroactively to the date of formation which is normal for
501(c)(3) organizations that apply for exemption within the first
15 months of their formation. "If the organization files the
application within this 15-month period, the organization's
exemption will be recognized retroactively to the date it was

In order to receive donations that are deductible you would need
to have some articles of organization, like articles of
incorporation or articles of association or trust document which is
discussed starting on page 26 of:
at "Organizational test". You must have the required clauses in
the organizational document. Samples start on page 77

If you have required organizational documents, then, according to
the IRS, you would be able to now collect donations and the donors
would be able to deduct the donations as long as your organization
receives the IRS exemption determination approval retroactively to
the date of your incorporation.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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