Tips for Starting a Tiny Homeschool Group

Does this sound like your homeschool group?

We are a homeschool group, but don’t have a website just a private Facebook group where we communicate and mostly coordinate activities. – Hannah

We meet for park days and field trips with small hikes & bodies of water. No website, just Facebook page.-Kaleigh

We have about 10 families (mostly under age 7) and meet weekly. Kids bring their favorite activities to share & play. – Allison

These groups are tiny homeschool groups.

While the bigger homeschool groups get most of the attention on this website and the I am a Homeschool Group Leader, tiny homeschool groups are abundant.

Lots of homeschool groups form as Facebook groups or other meetup groups on social media. Homeschool families meet in person for play dates, field trips, mom’s night out, etc. They are terrific groups and fill a need!

These meet up groups are loosely organized, don’t collect any membership fees and don’t usually have a board like a typical nonprofit homeschool group.

Tips for tiny homeschool groups

My best advice for tiny homeschool groups is to enjoy what you’re doing! The simplicity is great!

  • Try to run without charging a membership fee. When money enters the picture, things get complicated. If you can avoid having a bank account, all the better.
  • Set a few policies and guidelines so participants know what to expect.
  • Have a focus and maybe even a mission statement. You cannot be all things to all people!
  • Consider asking parents to sign waivers of liability.
  • Make sure the parents stay for your activities with their younger children (under age 12 or 13). You do not want to be running a daycare!
  • Don’t be afraid to grow if you feel up for it OR stay tiny if it is meeting your needs!

I created a 4-part podcast series to help tiny homeschool groups.

Is my tiny group a nonprofit?

Yes, it’s likely that your tiny homeschool group is an informal nonprofit organization. Most likely what is called an unincorporated association, meaning a gathering of people for some shared activity or purpose.

As attorney Stephen Fisher explains in his article, What is an Unincorporated Association?”

What happens, legally speaking, when a group of people get together and decide to perform some task without filing any legal paperwork or establishing any formal legal structure? Whether they know it or not, they have formed an unincorporated association. “Unincorporated association” means an unincorporated group of two or more persons joined by mutual consent for a common lawful purpose, whether organized for profit or not.

But, if the purpose for the association is to benefit the public some way, and does not include earning a profit, the association’s members have formed an unincorporated nonprofit association. People form nonprofit unincorporated associations all the time; often without being aware of it.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-an-unincorporated-nonprofit-association.html

So if your tiny homeschool group benefits the homeschooling public and doesn’t intend to earn a profit, your tiny group is an unincorporated nonprofit! Congratulations!

If your tiny group grows larger

You might find you need to charge membership fees, open a bank account, rent a space, or purchase insurance. All these events end up meaning the tiny meet-up group needs to get more organized and that starts with a board of leaders and creating the official organization by drafting bylaws.

A board and bylaws are the basic building blocks of a more organized nonprofit organization. So start there.

The Articles on my website will help you with getting a board and bylaws set up.

Checklist of steps to form a nonprofit corporation and apply or 501c tax exempt status

Sample Bylaws

My webinars, especially the Board Training Video Set will be a big help.


Homeschool leaders that are a bit more organized with a board and bylaws are encouraged to join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders I am a Homeschool Group Leader. Join over 2,000 other leaders for support and information.


Carol Topp, CPA

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need a Bank Account?

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need a Bank Account?

Tiny homeschool groups have different challenges than large programs. They are limited on resources, volunteers, and activities. But they still have questions about legal status, money and taxes that the large homeschool organizations have.

In this 4-part podcast series, Carol Topp, CPA answers the common questions that tiny homeschool groups face. All podcasts are available at HomeschoolCPA.com/Podcast

  • Episode #175 Are We a Nonprofit?
  • Episode #176 Do We Need to File Anything?
  • Episode #177 Do We Need to Pay Taxes?
  • Episode #178 Do We Need a Bank Account?

In this episode Carol Topp will explain when a tiny homeschool group might need to open a checking account.

  • The pros and cons of operating in cash and without a checking account
  • Warning against using a personal checking account
  • Steps to take before opening a checking account

Join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders: I am a Homeschool Group Leader. 600+ homeschool leaders offer ideas, encouragement and respectful exchange of ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

  • Does your homeschool group manage their money well?
  • Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent?
  • Do you know how to prevent fraud?

This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click here for more information

 

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need to Pay Taxes?

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need to Pay Taxes?

Tiny homeschool groups have different challenges than large programs. They are limited on resources, volunteers, and activities. But they still have questions about legal status, money and taxes that the large homeschool organizations have.

In this 4-part podcast series, Carol Topp, CPA answers the common questions that tiny homeschool groups face. All podcasts are available at HomeschoolCPA.com/Podcast

  • Episode #175 Are We a Nonprofit?
  • Episode #176 Do We Need to File Anything?
  • Episode #177 Do We Need to Pay Taxes?
  • Episode #178 Do We Need a Bank Account?

In this episode Carol Topp will explain taxes for tiny homeschool groups:

  • How a tiny homeschool group can be tax exempt without applying.
  • How tiny groups can self-declare tax exempt status with the IRS.
  • State income tax exemption.
  • The IRS annual report Form 990-N.
  • Sales tax for small nonprofit organizations.

 

Join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders: I am a Homeschool Group Leader. 1,000+ homeschool leaders offer ideas, encouragement and respectful exchange of ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt