Get Your 501(c)(3) On

It’s been awhile since personally going through the process of filing for nonprofit status and on one hand, it’s pretty much the same as its always been. At the same time, it’s so nice to have so many readily available resources; even state and federal documentation is much better than it was a decade ago.

Adaptistration People 057Speaking of resources, the Legal category alone at ArtsHacker has a number of great posts (quite a few of which are from Joe Patti) covering not only application material but a number of those little things every board should do that tend to get easily overlooked otherwise.

There is no shortage of insight/advice oriented guides around (,, but if you want to cut through all that noise and just get the nuts and bolts version with loads of “just give it to me” oriented resources, take a look at The website desperately needs a user interface makeover (shameless plug), but the actual content is decidedly worthwhile.

What are some of your favorite resources?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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