This resource is a classic, and a “must read” for founders and lawyers representing nonprofit startups. It’s no surprise that it is the most popular Ready Reference Page published by Don Kramer’s Nonprofit Issues.
The right to appoint and remove directors and veto any amendments to governing documents is critical to control of a nonprofit organization. By forming “sole member” corporations in Pennsylvania, founders can secure control and protect their visions for helping to make the world better, and they can be assured that they can develop the organization as a career. Not everyone believes that a sole-member governance structure is appropriate or in the public interest, but many champion the approach because all too often, founders – who work for years essentially as volunteers to create an organization – are fired when those whom they had trusted and appointed to the Board decide to vote the founder off the Board and take the organization in a different direction. This 9-page resource (revised in 2020) written for a national audience summarizes the key issues and includes sample bylaws.
This document is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer with experience representing Pennsylvania nonprofits before signing and filing documents. Every startup nonprofit is different, and a lawyer can help guide you through the startup process and the important considerations relevant for your particular organization.