Search Results for: binder

Keep your homeschool organization’s important papers in a board binder

 

Can you find your homeschool organization’s bylaws or organizing documents quickly?

Nonprofit leaders should keep their organization’s important papers in a binder.

This short podcast episode (15 minutes) from Carol Topp, the HomeschoolCPA, will discuss what important papers need to be in your board binder.

 

In the podcast I mentioned the new Board Manual for homeschool organizations. I think you’ll find it helpful to organize your board and run your homeschool organization successfully!

Read more about the Homeschool Organization Board Manual

 

Carol Topp, CPA

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Create a board binder of important papers for your homeschool organization

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I was helping a homeschool leader apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for her homeschool co-op when she mentioned that she had created a binder of important papers. That’s an excellent idea!

I suggested she create three binders and share them with her board members, especially:

  • The secretary who is the keeper of the paperwork for the organization
  • The treasurer who is responsible for the annual reporting to the IRS and their state.
  • The board president whose job it is to make sure everyone else is doing their jobs.

All the board members are responsible for management of the nonprofit and compliance with nonprofit laws. Having a binder of important papers that leaders can to pass down future leaders will make sure the organization is managed well and in compliance with all its reporting obligations.

Here’s what to put in your homeschool organization binders:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) letter from the IRS.
  • Articles of Incorporation from your state. This should be the official certified copy with a date stamp proving that your Articles of Incorporation were filed with your Secretary of State.
  • Bylaws. Date them so you have the most recent copy.
  • IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter.
  • IRS Annual Information Returns, the Form 990N, 990-EZ or full 990s
  • IRS Form 8822-B to change the contact name associated with your EIN or to change your address
  • Any state annual reports you file. (If you don’t know what reports you need to file with the state, contact me and I can help.)
  • Helpful articles from HomeschoolCPA.com
  • Books by Carol Topp, CPA especially Money Management in a Homeschool Organization
  • HomeschoolCPA.com website.

 

I highly recommend that you laminate or protect in plastic sheets these important documents.

Pass these binders down to the leaders who succeed you!

Carol Topp, CPA

Homeschool Organization Board Manual is ready (and beautiful!)

I’ve been thinking about creating a homeschool board member manual for several years. Well, 2017 is the year it happened!

I am pleased to offer this helpful (and beautiful) Homeschool Organization Board Manual.


This manual is a customizable template for you to create your own board member manuals.

It has pages that act as dividers for separate sections of the manual like this page that lists important legal documents you should have in your binder:

And then I’ve created helpful tools like a calendar of meetings, list of board members and a sample meeting agenda:

 

And then I got carried away and created a huge amount of other information. The Homeschool Organization Board Manual is 55 pages.

It’s like a board training guide.

The additional information has articles on

  • board duties
  • job descriptions
  • how to read financial statements
  • a list of best financial practices
  • an article from HSLDA attorney Darren Jones on “Developing a Child Protection Policy”
  • and more.

 

 

All this is to help your board get organized, trained and ready to run a successful homeschool organization!

Best of all, this Homeschool Organization Board Manual is customizable! It is delivered to you as a Word document, so your homeschool group can put their name and year on the cover, type specific information in the document, and print out pages for each bard member!

And it’s beautiful! Homeschool mom, Tara Mitchell did the graphic design for me so it’s lovely to look at too!

And it’s very affordable! $9.95.

You only order one copy for your organization and then I give you permission to print off as many copies as you need for each board member!


Carol Topp, CPA
HomeschoolCPA.com
Helping Homeschool Leaders

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Homeschool Organization Board Manual



Homeschool Organization Board  Manual

This is a real life conversation:

HomeschoolCPA: Do you have a copy of your EIN letter form the IRS?
Homeschool Leader: No. It was gotten by a former treasurer 15 years ago. All I have is the number handwritten on a sheet of paper from the bank.
HomeschoolCPA: Do you have a copy of  your Articles of Incorporation filed in your state?
Homeschool Leader: No; I don’t think so.
HomeschoolCPA: Has your homeschool group ever applied for tax exempt status with the IRS?
Homeschool Leader: I have no idea! All I was given when I took over leadership was the checkbook. 🙁

This is a sad, but true reality. Sometimes current group leaders have none of the important paperwork for their organizations.

Homeschool board  members should keep all their organization’s important papers in a safe and accessible place. Usually, a 3-ring binder works well.


Author and homeschool advisor, Carol Topp, CPA, has created a Homeschool Organization Board Manual. It is a template to create a board member binder. It has:

  • A list of important documents to keep in your binder
  • Section dividers so you can organize the important papers
  • Tools to help you run your meetings smoothly including
  • A sample agenda that you can use over and over again
  • A calendar of board meetings

But this is more than just a few cover sheets for your binder. It is also a 55-page board training manual with helpful articles on:

  • Suggested Board Meeting Topic List
  • Board Duties
  • Job Descriptions for Board of Directors
  • What Belongs in the Bylaws?
  • Compensation and Benefits for Board Members
  • Best Financial Practices Checklist
  • How to Read and Understand Financial Statements
  • Developing a Child Protection Policy

 

The Homeschool Organization Board Manual comes as a Word file to make it easy for you to customize it for your organization.

The manual (a 55 page digital file) costs $9.95, That’s a little pricey for an electronic book, but you only purchase one copy for your organization.

You are allowed to print off copies of the Manual for all of your board members, but please do not share the original Word file with them. And do not share the original Word file with other people, email it or post it on the internet. TIA!

Carol Topp, CPA

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Serving on a nonprofit board: What is required?

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I think we have 3 people willing to be on the board. Their main question is time commitment. I have no idea what to tell them. Do you have any support materials to help leaders judge this?

Jennifer in North Carolina

Jennifer,

Board commitment can vary a lot. Some homeschool organizations need everyone to pitch in on co-op day, but the board may only meet once a month for 1-2 hour long meetings.

The more important issue is that potential board members consider their duties as board members.

Each board member has a fiduciary (i.e. legal) duty to manage the organization and its funds within the purpose/mission of the organization and not for private gain or benefit. The board’s job is to govern the organization, be responsible for the management of funds, and be responsible for its programs.

From Ohio Attorney General Guide for Charity Board Members comes this excellent list of the duties of board members (with my comments and links added).

Duty of Care

  • Read and understand mission, vision, and governing documents. I recommend a board binder for important documents.
  • Attend board and committee meetings.
  • Be informed and prepared to participate in decision-making and oversight.
  • Exercise same care as a prudent person would in the handling of their own affairs.

Duty of Loyalty

  • Be prepared to put organizational objectives above self-interest.
  • Establish and follow written policies concerning conflict of interest situations.
  • Disclose personal financial interests when needed/excuse yourself from voting. See a sample Conflict of Interest policy.
  • Avoid entering into business relationships between board members and the organization.

Duty of Management

  • Develop policies that assure the financial responsibility of the organization. Get my list of best practices when you sign up for HomeschoolCPA’s email list.
  • Keep accurate and complete records of income, expenses, investments, and minutes.
  • Develop budget as a blueprint for program plans and all organizational spending. My book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization can help you create a budget.
  • Develop fundraising goals and assist the organization in acquiring adequate resources.

Duty of Compliance

  • Understand and comply with governing documents, including bylaws and code of conduct. Sample bylaws.
  • Know and comply with state and federal laws governing non-profit organizations, including registration and reporting requirements. If you’re unsure about what your filings requirements are, contact me and we can discuss it. My book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization, will also be helpful.

I hope this list of duties doesn’t scare away your potential board members! I have found that serving on a nonprofit board has been one of the most rewarding things I have done.

Carol Topp, CPA

 

Calendar of Board Topics for Homeschool Groups

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This blog post from Nonprofit Law Blog had a great idea: Create a calendar of topics your board should discuss every year.

I modified their ideas a bit for typical homeschool organizations and came up with this list of topics for your board to discuss each month:

  1. Welcome new board members and give them a history of your organization, its purpose, an understanding of their duties and a board binder. Read over the bylaws and review your mission and purpose statement.
  2. Discuss new programs and activities.
  3. Decide on discounts and appreciation gifts for volunteers.
  4. Go over best practices to avoid fraud. Read them here. Implement changes as needed.
  5. Discuss fundraising techniques.
  6. Authorize committees, recruit members and delegate duties to them.
  7. Review your conflict resolution policy. How do you solve conflicts. Read The Peacemaker.
  8. Review your risk areas, safety policies and insurance coverage.
  9. Evaluate any paid workers, independent contractor agreements, and employment practices.
  10. Recruit, nominate and elect new board members.
  11. Set a budget near the end of the year for the next year.
  12. One month after end of fiscal year file IRS form 990/990-EZ or 990-N and any state forms.

As you can see, I have links to articles and blog posts on most of these topics.

And my books,

  • Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out
  • The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization.
  • Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

have many issues for your board to discuss as well.

Carol Topp, CPA

 

 

Homeschool co-op teachers not returning curriculum. What to do?

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Over at the Facebook page I am A Homeschool Group Leader, Sharon asked the following:

 (our homeschool co-op) has a policy that the teacher is to turn over the curriculum that wasn’t consumed to the board, but that has not been happening. What do you do? If you collect the curriculum, where do you store it?

Shanna offered this advice:  I would let the teachers know that if the group reimbursed them, then it belongs to the co-op. We do collect the curriculum. For years, it set on a book shelf in my office (school room), but I needed the space for my stuff. This year we purchased a cabinet at Lowes & it is now in my garage. I label & number all the books. I keep an inventory in Excel & when a teacher has a book, I write their name next to it in the Inventory.

Peggy added:  If it belongs to the co-op, I would find a way to store it. If you plan to reimburse, perhaps only do partial and say the remaining will come when they turn it in. (This could be cost-prohibitive, however for many.) Otherwise, I would send them an invoice with the amount they owe, or that they can turn in the books.

Patricia had more ideas: We let the teachers know at the beginning of the class that when the class ends they are to turn in any materials that the group paid for. When I receive it from them, I put it in totes labeled “Lending Library.” I post a list on our website of the curriculum that is available for use, and families “check it out” like you would at a public library. They use it for the semester or the year, and return it. This allows the entire group to benefit from the purchases that we have made as a group. I do write our group name boldly on the curriculum, and I put all consumable materials in a binder, and label “Do Not Write In This Book” on the worktext.

Thanks for the great advice and tips!

Carol Topp, CPA

Thank You for purchasing Homeschool Co-ops ebook

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Thank you for ordering
Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out (2nd edition) ebook.

I hope it will be very helpful to you in managing and planning your homeschool group.

Reminder: Your credit card statement will read “CLICKBANK*COM.” I use a service called Clickbank to process your order.

How to get your ebook:

  1. Click the link below to download your ebook. You will need Adobe Reader. If you do not have Adobe Reader, it is available for a free download here
  2. Save the file (a pdf file) onto your computer so that you may read it at a later time. It is a large file (20MB) and may take a few minutes to download.

  3. You may print out the entire book (116 pages) and store it in a binder or you can simply print out the chapters helpful to you. The book is formatted in  6″ x 9″. For printing , you may wish to print 2 pages per sheet in landscape orientation.

Download Homeschool Co-ops Ebook 2nd edition

If you have technical difficulties with your purchase, please e-mail me at TechProblems@HomeschoolCPA.com

This ebook has a copyright. You are not allowed to reproduce it except for one copy for your personal use. If you have a friend or fellow homeschool parent that could benefit from this information, they must purchase their own copy.

_______________________________________________

HomeschoolCPA.com has a lot of information to help you be successful. You can stop by and visit occasionally, but a better idea to to sign up for the Homeschool Leader newsletter.  A newsletter with advice, answers and tips will come right to your e-mail.

 

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Homeschool Co-op Featured in the News

I love it when a local newspaper reports about the success of homeschool co-ops.

Here’s  a great story from the Temple (Texas) Daily Telegraph

An environment for sharing: Home school co-op helps students and instructors

by Cristina Waits | General Assignments Writer
Published: October 20, 2009
Elizabeth Castleberry, a 14-year-old home-schooled ninth-grader, observes sugar burn Monday during a Helping Hands Homeschool Co-op chemistry lab at Belton Church of Christ. Clint Bittenbinder/Telegram
Ian Wardlow, right, a 16-year-old home-schooled 10th-grader, pours baking soda Monday into a test tube held by teacher Rebecca Stryker during a chemistry lab experiment at Helping Hands Homeschool Co-op at Belton Church of Christ. Clint Bittenbinder/Telegram

BELTON – Longtime home-schooler Elizabeth Castleberry says going to a classroom has its perks.

While she enjoys staying home for most of her studies, the 14-year-old says chemistry is a course that would be hard to replicate at home. So when her family decided to join Helping Hands Homeschool Co-op this year, it meant Castleberry could get hands-on experience with lab equipment as well as the chance to work with an experienced high school science teacher.

Both are opportunities she says she’s enjoying.

“The whole hands-on experience makes it easier to understand chemistry,” said Castleberry, who conducted five experiments with teachers and classmates Monday. “Co-op gives you more of a class experience. And it’s also a lot of fun to get out of the house.”

Though many students are also involved with youth sports, music lessons and clubs, the tuition-free co-op offers classroom experience that’s hard for home-schoolers to get otherwise. With courses ranging from core academic to special interest enrichment, the co-op is made up of 185 students in kindergarten through 12th grade who meet Mondays at Belton Church of Christ for 10 weeks each semester.

Like at home, parents teach classes in a wide variety of subjects such as astronomy, Latin, tae kwon do and sewing. But unlike home, every parent doesn’t have to teach every class. And children have the opportunity to learn from teachers who are not part of their families.

“My children have benefited from the expertise of others,” said Colleen Stafford, volunteer co-op administrator. “It takes a load off me. I don’t have to teach (my children) the lesson. I just oversee them carrying out their assignments. They’re getting much more than just me teaching them at home.”

Read the rest of the story here

I like the emphasis on learning from each other.  That;s the siprit of a true co-op! Did you catch the “tuition-free” description!  Wow  No wonder they have 185 students involved!

You too can start and run a successful homeschool co-op.  Start by ordering my book, Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out here.

Carol Topp, CPA

Thank You:Q&A

Thank you for ordering
Question and Answers for Homeschool Leaders ebook.

I hope it will be very helpful to you in managing your homeschool group.

Reminder: Your credit card statement will read “CLICKBANK*COM.” I use a service called Clickbank to process your order.

How to get your ebook:

  1. Click the link below to download your ebook. You will need Adobe Reader. If you do not have Adobe Reader, it is available for a free download here
  2. Save the file (a pdf file) onto your computer so that you may read it at a later time.

  3. I recommend that you print out the entire book (61 pages) and store it in a binder. You’ll want to keep it nearby for quick reference.

DOWNLOAD NOW

If you have technical difficulties with your purchase, please e-mail me at TechProblems@HomeschoolCPA.com

This ebook has a copyright. You are not allowed to reproduce it except for one copy for your personal use. If you have a friend or fellow homeschool parent that could benefit from this information, they must purchase their own copy.

____________________________________________________

HomeschoolCPA.com has a lot of information to help you be successful. You can stop by and visit occasionally, but a better idea to to sign up for the Homeschool Leader newsletter.  A newsletter with advice, answers and tips will come right to your e-mail.



___________________________________________________


Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com