You need WHAT?!!?!!

I run a small non profit organization. This means I write proposals. used to be they were spread out over the course of the year, with the worst one due in March, others in May and August. Well, they’ve all re-done their cycles, so, I had 3 large proposals due within one calendar month. Add to that all the traumas of the first one (detailed here ), by the time the last one was due, I was about at the end of my rope.

This last one required permission from our Attorney General’s office to solicit funds. Filled out application some time ago. In order to do this, I needed to submit a copy of our 501c3 letter, a board listing, copy of our most recent tax return (called a 990), most recent audit. All of which were no problem. However, they also needed, copy of our by-laws. Ok, I semi remember where the hell the prior director had that… (it’s not an oft requested piece of info).

Then, there was the kicker. “copy of original Articles of Incorporation”. holy shit. This organization was formed in the mid 70’s. I was hired in 1977 in a [sub]not particularly lofty position[/sub], and only had access to main office stuff since 1991. This would have been two directors ago. Since that point in time, we’ve moved 4 times at least, had one fire and one flood. PLUS, where the hell would it be??? I looked everywhere. Several file cabinets. one set of alphabeticals under “A” (for Articles) “I” (for Incorporation), “N” (for company name), finally found them under “C” (‘corporate papers’ thanks Chuck).

So, sent in the materials. When the deadline was approaching and I hadn’t heard from them, I called. They said they’d get right on it. Which meant, on the day my proposal was due (which needed the required certificate attached), I got a call from them.

Seems that two directors ago, some one had filed for that status for our company. Good news? not really. 'cause once you’ve filed, you’re supposed to send them a copy of your tax returns (the 990’s) annually. So, we were a bit late on that.

15 years. I had less than a day to come up with 15 years worth of income tax returns. Reference above for # of prior directors with their own ‘special style’ of filing, # of moves, # of catesrophic events…
I did it. Damn I’m good.

Hi wring. For future reference, you can get a copy of your Articles of Association from the Secretary of State’s office in the state where the company is formed. By “original,” they really mean a copy certified (stamped) by the Secretary of State. The copy the Secretary of State has will include the original filing plus all amendments. They’ll charge $15-$50 and it takes about one week (can usually pay an extra fee for “expedited” service). The bylaws never get filed with the Secretary of State, so they can’t help you on that one.

15 years of returns in one day? Damn, you are good.