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Nonprofit Law/Removing liability from non-profit when I leave


QUESTION: I have a 501(c)4 in California which is a historical base ball league.  I am leaving the Board of Directors and am just going to be a regular member (player).  As I start to divorce myself from this non-profit, what do I need to do to transfer "ownership" to the new President.  The new board of directors has been voted and ratified.  I would now like to change the address, contact details, and "ownership" to the new President as he requested.  I want to remove my liability and all connection to the league, but we want it to continue and thrive.  CA Board of Equalization seems to say I need to dissolve and have new "owner" file new.  Can you clarify?

ANSWER: No one owns a nonprofit organization.  The Board of Directors (and sometimes with approval of voting members) decides who are the responsible persons.  You should notify the Board in writing of your resignation and ask them to acknowledge and then provide you copies of the notifications that they or the new officers provided to different government agencies as to the new address and contact information.  Give them a couple of weeks.  If they do not comply, then let me know and I will reply further.

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: That won't be an issue.  So then the contact/address change function will take care of this for me.  Once the this information is acknowledged from the State, I am no longer tied to it in any way, is that correct?  (ie the non-profit can continue on without me)

I don't know what State your corporation is incorporated in, but the State may not acknowledge the new filings (although they may be searchable online). In any case, once the State and IRS receive the notifications, you are no longer tied to the organization for future activities of the organization.  The nonprofit continues without you even before the organization notifies the governmental entities.  It continues once the Board of Directors accepts your resignation and/or appoints a replacement.

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


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. 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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