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Online Non-Profit Pre-Certification Workshop
Read the information below to learn about SDO Non-Profit Organization (NPO) certification. After reviewing this information, you may complete the online application and submit supporting documents.
Is your organization eligible?
To be eligible for certification, your organization must meet the following requirements:-
An organization is not eligible for certification if it has been established or reorganized for the specific purpose of participating in the SDO certification program.
What does it mean to be a tax-exempt non-profit?
To qualify for NPO certification, your organization must be tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. This designation must have been filed for and granted prior to seeking certification.
Your NPO also must be in good standing with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office/Division of Public Charities and the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office.
How do you determine if your non-profit’s Board of Directors/Trustees and Voting Membership are eligible?
At least 51% of the Directors/Trustees must be women and/or members of a minority group or of Portuguese descent. If there is a voting membership entitled to elect Directors/Trustees, at least 51% of the voting membership must be women and/or members of a minority group or of Portuguese descent.
Directors/Trustees and Voting Membership must be:
At least 18 years old;
A citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States; and
Women and/or person(s) of a minority group or of Portuguese descent.
Qualifying minority groups include:
Note that Portuguese is a separate group for the purpose of NPO certification, and includes persons having Portuguese origin.
What type of NPO certification may you obtain?
The following table details the type of NPO certification you may pursue, based on the makeup of the NPO's Board of Directors and Voting Membership.
What does it mean to "control" a non-profit?
The women, minority and/or Portuguese, Directors/Trustees of the NPO must hold dominant control over daily and long-term decisions. These decisions may include policy and financial planning issues, as examples. The minority, women, and/or Portuguese, Directors/Trustees must set and oversee standards for day-to-day control of the organization. These conditions should be included in your NPO's corporate documents.
How does the SDO determine if a non-profit is "ongoing"?
You must give evidence that your organization:
Is regularly and actively engaged in business;
Has an office and /or other space that matches the type of services your non-profit offers;
Uses equipment and other resources that are independently owned or leased;
Has marketing activity, and/or a revenue stream; and
Owns or leases resources that are typical for an organization of its type.
Note: While there are no requirements that a non-profit has been in business for a certain period of time or has earned a minimum amount of money to apply for NPO certification, potential business activity is not normally enough evidence to meet the ongoing requirement. Also, without control of the eligible Directors/Trustees over the day-to-day activities, it would be hard to show that the NPO is "ongoing" within the meaning of the regulations.
If the non-profit is newly incorporated, it must be able to demonstrate that it is an ongoing concern in the service area in which it requests certification.
What does it mean that a non-profit must be "independent"?
Independent means that the non-profit does not need a relationship with any other non-eligible person or organization to complete its work or survive. It also means that the non-profit is not influenced or pressured by a non-eligible person or organization to perform the business activity of the organization.
You have finished the online Non-profit Workshop.
The application and required documents will be available once you create an account to apply online Register and login.