We are a group of families that came together last year to work collectively in sharing the role of teaching each other’s children one day a week. We have lots of interested families that want to join us next year. I’m thinking Co-Op is the way to go, but I’m still not sure of the road ahead.
Do we have to file as a non-profit to be an official Co-Op?
Well, I’m not sure what you mean by “official homeschool co-op.”
Perhaps you mean an “official” nonprofit organization.
As soon as you have a board, mission, and bylaws your organization IS a nonprofit organization!
It is an unincorporated association, but it is still a nonprofit organization. There is usually nothing to file at the state level to create an unincorporated association. The filing starts (at the state level) when you chose to be come a nonprofit corporation, as many co-ops do.
There is no such thing as an “official co-op.” The homeschool classes that you call “a co-op” are the main program or activity that your nonprofit organization operates. The nonprofit organization may also offer other activities such as parties, clubs, field trips, etc.
This blog post explains what an unincorporated association is: My Homeschool Group is an Unincorporated Association. What Does That Even Mean?
I think my Homeschool Co-ops book would be most helpful at this point.
Or my webinar on Create a Nonprofit for your Homeschool Community would be helpful at this stage as well.