Why are we changing to a Non-profit Corporation?
Our club’s mission statement is “To promote the game of pickleball in the city of San Luis Obispo, and to work with the city to create permanent pickleball courts.”
We certainly have promoted the game of pickleball, but we still need more courts, especially permanent pickleball courts, to accommodate play for our 100+ members and additional non-members. Many other clubs in the area have permanent courts, but the money to build those courts came partly from the municipality and partly from fund raising by the local club.
We had a fund raiser last fall. When we went out to businesses and individuals in the area to solicit donations, the first thing they asked was whether we were a non-profit and would their donation be tax deductible. When our answer was No, they declined to donate. Santa Barbara is in the process of converting some of their public tennis courts into pickleball courts. I saw a sign down there that they were trying to raise $8000 to resurface the court and put up four pickleball nets and lines. They wanted an additional $4000 to put fencing between the courts. So for $12,000 you can convert one tennis court into four pickleball courts.
The city of SLO has allocated some funds for permanent pickleball courts, but they expect the local club to provide additional funds. Our dues are only $20 per year, where most of the other clubs in the area are $100 – $120 per year. Our dues are meant to cover the basic expenses of running the club and providing loaner paddles, balls & nets. We will need to fund-raise to provide money for permanent courts. That is why we need to be a non-profit corporation.
What is involved in becoming a non-profit?
First you form a non-profit corporation. Then you apply for non-profit status from the IRS and the State Franchise Tax Board. The current club BOD will execute an offer to the non-profit to transfer existing assets. Once non-profit status is approved the corporation elects directors, adopts the corporation bylaws, accepts the offer to transfer assets, authorizes opening a bank account, etc.
We elected to take the DIY method of forming the non-profit rather than having an attorney do it. There are some very good books on all the steps and forms to submit and the whole process has gotten much simpler in recent years. We have formed the corporation, submitted for approval and been approved as a non-profit by both the IRS and California. This whole process has cost about $400 to buy the book and pay all the filing fees.
Where we are now is that we are working on the bylaws for the non-profit. There is some specific language that needs to be in the bylaws to qualify as a non-profit. We took our current bylaws and added that language. There were also some other areas in the bylaws that we realized should be changed also. The BOD has had several meetings to discuss and modify the bylaws. We will be providing a separate web post with a synopsis of the draft bylaws changes.
If anyone has questions on our transition from an informal club to a non-profit corporation, please contact me:
Jim Zeeb at or 303-674-1964