Types of organizations
A charitable organization is the simplest organizational structure, consisting of a group of people gathering and conducting programs for the public good.
A nonprofit organization is a more formalized option requiring articles of incorporation being filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State and giving the neighborhood association status as a legal entity with the ability to enter into legally binding contracts. Incorporation also protects the associations’ board members from liability.
A 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization is the most structured of the organizational options giving your neighborhood association tax-exempt-status from state and/or federal income taxes. This option has several requirements and must be granted by the IRS.
Articles of Incorporation
The first step in establishing your organization as a nonprofit organization is the creation of Articles of Incorporation. This document must be filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State and establishes your neighborhood association as a corporation. It contains information such as the name of the organization, address of the organization the name of a registered agent(s), and the organization’s mission statement.
Bylaws establish the structure of you neighborhood association, providing consistent, ongoing guidelines. Having clearly defined bylaws is important to the success of the association. They help members understand the purpose, procedures, and the role they serve in the association.
Your neighbors should vote to adopt bylaws at a meeting. We suggest you have an independent third party, such as a representative from a community institution, like a school, church or business to attend your meeting to be present for the vote and ensure procedure is followed.
Board Roles and Responsibilities
The president is the leader of the association and is expected to be familiar with the bylaws of the association. Their primary responsibility is running association meetings and ensuring the neighborhood association bylaws.
The vice president is likely to be the person filling in for association’s president in his/her absence and as such, should also be familiar with the association’s bylaws. In addition to assisting the association’s president in performing tasks necessary to run the association, the vice president will often act as a liaison between various committees and the association’s board.
The treasurer acts as the chief financial officer of the association. Their duties include collecting membership dues, writing checks, overseeing association accounts, preparing financial statements, and making financial reports at association meetings.
The secretary is the association’s record keeper, responsible for maintaining and updating member lists, agendas, and keeping meeting minutes. They are also responsible for the associations’ general correspondence, sending out meeting notices, and furnishing committees with the necessary information to perform their duties.