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Will I be able to make a living if I start and run a nonprofit?

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Will I be able to make a living if I start and run a nonprofit?

I want to spend the rest of my life (I’m now 52) creating and directing musical choral ensembles with the purpose to stimulate, motivate, and inspire people, young and old, to love life and make the best of it. I have many ideas and I am in the process of trying to figure out what structure to use. Obviously I need to eat and pay the rent, so I have to make a living. Is a nonprofit organization the way to go?

The purpose sounds like it could be fulfilled in a nonprofit organization that is recognized as a charity by the IRS. The bottom line question is how you will obtain the financial resources to do what you want to do. If people will pay you for your work, there may be no need to become a charity. If you will succeed only through grants and contributions from individuals, corporations or foundations, you need to be a charity to give deductibility to the gifts. You can be paid a reasonable salary from a nonprofit, but, unlike a business, you can't sell out at a later date and personally keep the value you have built.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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