On Dec 19, 2012, at 6:49 PM, James Alexander wrote: > On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM, Michael C. Berch <m...@postmodern.com> wrote: > There are no legal or financial stakes, the issue of "municipalities" is an > irrelevant triviality, and it just serves to annoy people. > > -- > Michael C. Berch > User:MCB > m...@postmodern.com > > > There most certainly are legal and financial stakes. An incorporated > organization costs a not insignificant amount of resources and cash to > maintain even before they do anything at all. This is especially true when > you are spanning multiple diverse jurisdictions (such as states or countries) > and have to know at least some of the laws of each. I don't think > towns/cities are a major problem. I'm sure it will be an added wrinkle given > that the jurisdiction overlaps the foundations offices itself.
I can't speak to jurisdictions outside the U.S., but I have a fair amount of experience and expertise with respect to both business and nonprofit entities in the U.S. I have formed and advised a number of both as an attorney, and I can assure you that there are no problems in operating a 501(c)(3) organization (or similar) that operates in multiple or overlapping states, counties, or municipalities. It is also not particularly necessary that a "chapter" or "affiliate" of a national or global nonprofit (like Wikimedia Foundation) be, itself, an incorporated entity. (The Board of Directors may specify that as a requirement, but it is not a legal one.) Inexperienced organizations often "over-organize" when it comes to local chapters and affiliates, drawing precise geographical jurisdictional lines or requiring that the affiliates represent some particular level of subnational entities. There are a number of reasons why this happens, including intra-organizational politics and misunderstanding of legal issues. It is almost never a good idea, and as we see, generates unneeded conflicts. -- Michael C. Berch User:MCB m...@postmodern.com
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