Become a 501c3 | Utah Lacrosse Association

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So you have gotten a coach, the team is up and running, now what?

As parent groups start playing a bigger role in team support and development, it is critical to plan strategically how these groups will govern, handle team funds, and establish a roadmap for team development. 

If you are considering becoming a federal 501c(3) organization, below are some resources that may help you on your journey.


1) Select active parents who are willing to serve on the board of directors. You can also think outside of your immediate group and select a your school faculty sponsor, an active business person or a lacrosse enthusiast with time to spare. You must have at least three but may have as many as you like. A good number is between 5-12 based on the size of your organization. The State of Utah requires that you have at least three. Board members should keep in mind that they have fiduciary responsibility to the organization and should be willing to plan beyond their son or daughter's years on the team. When you are deciding on board members, keep in mind a diversified representation so that not all board members have kids the same age. Also, select an official address where legal documents, communication and permit reminders can be mailed and will be received. 

2) Choose a name for the organization. Please check to be sure your name is not already taken. https://www.secure.utah.gov/bes/action. 

3) Apply for a Tax Identification Number with the IRS. Please do not have team funds tied to a personal social security number! If you currently have funds in a personal bank account, it is not too late. Apply for your TIN/EIN number and open a new account with that information. The bank may require you to have Articles of Incorporation before opening an account. If so, please see step 4. 

4) Create Articles of Incorporation. This defines "who you are" and how your organization is structured. You will need to file these with the State of Utah Division of Corporations. There is an initial $20 fee to file these with the state. Their website is full of helpful information as well as sample Articles. This will complete you state non-profit status, but you are NOT tax-exempt. The 501c(3) designation is a federal designation that will require additional steps.

5) If you are fundraising at all in the State of Utah ( this includes letters to grandma), you MUST have a Charitable Solicitation Permit from the Utah State Division of Consumer Protection. This is a $100 permit that needs to be renewed every year. 

6) Create by-laws. This defines "how you conduct business." You may wish to contact another parent program for their by-laws to avoid re-inventing the wheel. 

7) Consider filing for a 501c(3) designation with the IRS. This is a lengthy process, but can mean many advantages for your organization such as grant opportunities, corporate matching, and additional fundraising support. If you do not have a 501c(3) designation, DO NOT tell potential funders that their donations are tax-deductable. There is a one time fee associated with filing that can be as much as $850 depending on your annual budget. However, if approved, the status is retroactive and may be applied to donations made while your application was pending. You must file an IRS form 1023. 

8) Keep very accurate records of your finances. The organization is now responsible to a much higher power and Uncle Sam does not take kindly to those who abuse the system. As a 501c(3), you will need to file an annual 990 return for your organization. This can be simple or complex depending on your gross receipts and annual income. Consider hiring a CPA or utilizing a board member who specializes in taxes.

9) Don't forget to file an annual report with the Utah Division of Corporations. There is a $10 fee to do this each year after your initial filing. 

10) Enjoy the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from giving back to the youth in your area by donating your time and energy to grow the sport of lacrosse!

If you have any questions or concerns or just need someone to hear you out as you slowly lose your mind, please contact Lisa at the ULA.


Additional Resources:
Risk Management for lacrosse clubs.