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