Once an entrepreneur develops an idea for a business, one of the first things she must ask herself is whether to create a for-profit or nonprofit organization.  One of the largest misconceptions out there is that nonprofits can't make a profit.  Folks will say, "well, my business is currently formed as a for-profit organization but it's not making any profit, should I become a nonprofit?".  Well, not necessarily . . .

What is your reason for existence?

That's quite the heavy question!  Don't worry, we aren't asking you to solve an age old philosophical question. Rather, you must determine whether the primary purpose of your organization is  to generate income for you, as the owner, and your employees--or are you forming an organization to serve a humanitarian or community need? Is the business something you want to control, primarily to the benefit of the owners of the organization?  Or are you willing to form a business for the benefit of the community as a whole?  Nonprofit organizations must use their income to create programs and services for the greater good. For-profit companies offer products and services that are valued in the marketplace, choosing to distribute profits between owners, employees, shareholders and the business itself.  Bottom line, nonprofit organizations are not set up for the sole purpose of making a profit, but for pursuing a public benefit recognized under federal and state law.  For-profit companies are formed for the financial benefit of its owners and/or shareholders.

Where are you getting your funding?

Are you primarily receiving your funding from sales revenue?  Or is your organization's main source of income from donations and fundraising? For-profit companies rely on earned income and credit arrangements with lenders and suppliers to finance their operations. Nonprofits, on the other hand, rely almost entirely on donations and grants from individuals, government entities and organizations.  To get back to the misconception mentioned at the start of this article, nonprofit organizations can and do make a profit, but it must be used solely for the operation of the organization.

Who do you envision owning and controlling the organization?

One question we often ask clients at the crossroads of the for-profit/nonprofit decision is:  Do you envision your organization continuing on, for the benefit of the community, with or without you personally involved?  A nonprofit organization is, in a way, owned by the public. It belongs to no private person and no one person controls the organization. The assets of a nonprofit are irrevocably dedicated to the charitable, educational, literary, scientific, or religious purposes of the organization.  This is why, if the organization dissolves, any remaining assets after debts and liabilities are satisfied, must go to another nonrofit organization and not to members of the former nonprofit or any other private individual.  This is in contrast to a for-profit organization, where private owners can retain control and ownership of the entity.  Similarly, the for-profit corporation can distribute any assets of the corporation upon dissolution to the owners and shareholders, after paying all debts and liabilities.  And while you may be the founder of a nonprofit corporation, control of a nonprofit is exercised by a governing board of directors or trustees. The responsibility of that board is to see that the organization fulfills its purpose. 

What about accountability?

Nonprofit organizations have public accountability and must file annual information returns with the federal and state governments.   At the state level, nonprofits are usually overseen by the State's Attorney General. That office usually has the power to take a nonprofit corporation to court to make sure it complies with the law.

This is just a brief overview of some of the more important considerations in the formation of a for-profit or nonprofit organization. Assistance with nonprofit entity formation and tax exempt applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, based on the applicant's level of preparedness and organization.  Applying for tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code requires thought, preparation, and organization; and is not something that should be taken lightly.  The Legal Creative will attempt to place qualified organizations with a Volunteer Lawyer who has agreed to provide services on a pro bono or reduced fee schedule only if the the organization can demonstrate the following:

-A clear mission and programming that furthers a charitable purpose
-An appropriate board of directors
-Adequate fundraising to cover incorporation and application fees
-A clear financial plan spanning at least three years

For more information on nonprofit entity formation and tax exempt application assistance, please email info@legalcreative.org

Artists of the Rustbelt has obtained nonprofit status, a move that it expects will allow it to grow beyond its grass-roots origins. The group was formed in 2008, and since then has presented more than 40 public art showcases and artists markets.

In addition to its five artist markets each year, the ARB will begin to host a series of artist business empowerment and artist-run, hands-on workshops, lay the foundation for a public gallery and performance center, and set the stage for an aggressive artist management service. For information, go to rusted1.com.

Officers are Tony Nicholas, executive director; Chris Yambar, vice president; Heather Seno, secretary; Maureen Yambar, treasurer; and Amy Fobes, special events director. Board members are Becky Keck, John Burke and Daniel Horne, with Bill Lawson, Jenn Crisan, Robert Joki, Jimmy Sutman and Jim Cossler as acting advisers.

ARB obtained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status this month with the help of attorney Denise Glinatsis Bayer and the Legal Creative.

The Legal Creative commissioned local photographer Tony Nicholas to photograph the Brier Hill, Brownlee Woods, Downtown, Garden District, Idora, Rocky Ridge and Lincoln Knolls neighborhoods. Summer Festival of the Arts attendees shared a positive, personal story about those Youngstown neighborhoods on the postcards. The postcards were on display in The Legal Creative’s tent throughout the SFA as a public art project. We are about to mail the postcards to random people in different neighborhoods in the city and surrounding areas to foster connections between people of different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new program geared at boosting local artists has launched in Youngstown.
Patrons of the program buy full or partial shares in the project. In return, they get up to nine pieces of original art, including sculptures, paintings, books and live performances.

“We live in a community full of people who work very hard. And people who work hard need entertainment. They need to look at beautiful things. They need to go and see shows that inspire them to go to work the next day,” said local artist Robert Dennick Joki.

The program will take place over the summer months and include three pickup events for sponsors.

“The big goal of this program is to get art that maybe patrons would not normally be exposed to into the hands of those new patrons. And establish a relationship between those new patrons and the artists,” said Legal Creative Director Denise Glinatsis Bayer.

It’s called “community-sponsored art,” or CSArt for short. By buying full or partial shares in the program, patrons receive original, all-new art from area artists.

“We have all different types of art from all different disciplines,” Bayer said.

The local art scene is fully supporting the new program.

“All of the artists are really excited about this. We had over 30 applications for our first program,” Bayer said.

There are still opportunities to buy into CSArt. There are 50 sponsorship shares available. Full shares are $350 and partial shares cost $125.

For more information, click here.


YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Legal Creative will hold a Meet and Greet Media Event at 10:00 am on Monday, June 2, 2014, in the Judith Rae Solomon Gallery located in Bliss Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The event will include an overview of the Community Supported Art project as well as an opportunity to meet and converse with a selection of the nine participating artists, The Legal Creative board members, current CSArt shareholders, and the judges involved in the selection process.

YSU Summer Festival of the Arts will present The Legal Creative with a check as they purchase their share of art from the Community Supported Art project.  The Legal Creative will also announce its plans for two public art projects that will be unveiled during the Summer Festival of the Arts.

The event will also acknowledge the support of YSU College of Creative Arts and Communication, which is sponsoring The Legal Creative’s booth at the Summer Festival of the Arts, as well as the McDonough Museum of Art, which is donating space for the Community Supported Art project.

Shares will be available for purchase during the event or at legalcreative.org. Anyone who purchases a share at this event will have exclusive access to a “bumper crop” – a unique piece of art created by the selected artists specifically for this day’s event. There are less than 30 full shares ($350) and 10 small shares ($125) available.


Community Supported Art is a nationally recognized project that connects artists and art lovers while creating an economic structure to support artists. The program pays nine selected artists $1,000 each to create 50 unique pieces of art. Each artists’ work is included in a “share” which is available to the public for $350. Each share contains nine unique works from visual, literary/performing arts, and sculptural categories. Small shares, including one category of three pieces, are also available for purchase for $125.

Shareholders will pick up their art over three events this summer. Each pick up will feature refreshments and entertainment. Pick up locations include Suzie’s Drafts and Dogs, Greyland, and Erie Terminal Place, all located on Phelps Street in Downtown Youngstown.

The nine artists selected for the inaugural program include visual artists Jeffery Puccini, Dylan Weaver, and Ryan Kallok; literary and performance artists Michael Dempsey, Robert Dennick Joki, and Sleep Projections; and sculptural artists Lynn Cardwell, Kelly Gainard, and William Youngman.

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With the same buy-local spirit in mind, Community Supported Art (CSArt) is a similar endeavor to support local art – both artists and collectors.  Our local CSArt program is modeled after the original program created by Springboard for the Arts and mnartists.org in Minnesota.   To learn more about The Legal Creative or this Community Supported Art program, please visit legalcreative.org.





The Community Supported Art program has selected its initial class of nine local artists, and is seeking patrons to support them.

The program, which is new to the Mahoning Valley, is modeled after one that began in Minneapolis and has spread to other cities. Jurors selected the nine artists based on their project proposals, from a pool of more than 30 submissions.

The nine artists and their projects are:

Jeffrey Puccini, Boardman: 5-inch- by-7-inch oil paintings

Dylan Weaver, Youngstown: Lunar gardening calendar/perpetual lunar calendar with original artwork

Bill Youngman, Youngstown: Idora Park keepsake necklace that uses genuine artifacts from the defunct Youngstown amusement park

Robert Dennick Joki, Youngstown: Original musical theater performance, with graphic printed ticket, limited-edition poster and preview CD

Michael Dempsey, Boardman: Limited-edition, hand-signed collection of three to five short stories and/or plays

Lynn Cardwell, Boardman: Custom stoneware food-safe mug

Sleep Projections (rock band), Youngstown: Original music CD with digital copy, including hand-drawn album art and handwritten lyrics, and a bonus track titled “Sound of Youngstown”

Ryan Kallok, Poland: Limited- edition hand-screened posters of Youngstown-influenced theme

Kelly Gainard, Hubbard: Clay sculpture “Dead Tree Scrolls”

The CSArt program is sponsored by the Legal Creative, a local organization that aims to boost the economic relationship between artists and the community. The goal of The Legal Creative, founded by Atty. Denise Glinatsis Bayer, is to financially support artists and recognize their contribution to our community.

“Our goal with [the CSArt] program is to introduce, build and deepen the relationship between The Legal Creative, artists and the general community,” said Bayer. “As our first major community project, we really wanted to show artists that The Legal Creative is here to assist to them in making a living off of their art, and being knowledgeable about legal and business issues is essential to getting to that point.

“Knowing how to draft a clear, detailed and professional proposal was the first hurdle our CSArtists needed to overcome. We received over 30 artist submissions from all disciplines — visual artists, photographers, sculptors, writers, playwrights, dancers and musicians. The professionalism and thought the artists put into the proposals was only trumped by their creativity.”

Bayer said it was difficult for the judges to narrow their choices down to nine, but encouraged those not selected to begin preparing for next year’s CSArt program.

Each of the nine selected artists will receive a $1,000 stipend with which to create 50 copies of an original work of art.

The jurors that selected the artists were Christopher Barzak and Mark Shohayda.

The CSArt program is now selling 50 “shares” in the program for $300 apiece until May 1, and $350 afterward. Each “shareholder” will receive a copy of the nine works of art created by the selected artists. Go to legalcreative.org for information.

Shareholders and artists will also be invited to several events this summer, each of which will feature local food, music and entertainment.

Shares can be purchased Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Calvin Center for the Arts, 755 Mahoning Ave., during Rust Belt Theater’s Repurposed Art Show.

Also available are a limited number of Small Shares, with fewer artworks, for $125 apiece. Small Share purchasers can choose from one of three categories: literary/performing arts, visual art, and sculpture.

Bayer said there has been a lot of interest in purchasing shares but believes some people were holding off until the artists and the proposals were announced.

“With the quality and uniqueness of the locally produced art in this season’s crop, I’m confident the 50 shares will sell out quickly,” she said.


Please join The Legal Creative's Board of Directors and special guests on Thursday, April 24, 2014, at Suzie's Dogs & Drafts, 32 & 34 N. Phelps Street, Youngstown, Ohio, beginning at 7:00 PM, as we announce to the public the nine artists selected by our judges for The Legal Creative's inaugural Community Supported Art program. The artists will be notified on Monday, April 21st.  Attendees will have the chance to meet some of the local artists who will be creating the works for CSArt, discuss the CSArt proposals with the artists, and ask questions about the creative process. 

CSArt shares will be available for purchase at this event at the low presale price of $300 per share. All payment methods will be accepted: credit card, check, or cash. Only 50 shares are available and will sell on a first come, first served basis.  Each share includes 9 pieces of original, locally produced, limited edition works of art.  

The night's festivities will include drink specials, a one-night-only handcrafted CSArt topping for your favorite dog:  cherry mustard and caramelized onion deglazed with rum, and a 50/50 raffle.  


Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. With the same buy-local spirit in mind, Community Supported Art (CSArt) is a similar endeavor to support local art – both artists and collectors.

Our local CSArt program is modeled after the original program created by Springboard for the Arts and mnartists.org in Minnesota. 

To learn more about The Legal Creative, which was recently listed on the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts NYC National Directory, or this Community Supported Art program, please visit legalcreative.org.

Program seeks artists, collectors
Published: Fri, March 21, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.
Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN:  The Legal Creative is seeking artists of all disciplines for its inaugural Community Supported Art program this summer. The deadline for artist applications has been extended to March 31.

Nine artists who apply to the CSA program will be selected by a jury made up of local professionals in the art world, including Christopher Barzak and Mark Shohayda. Each will be awarded a $1,000 stipend with which to create 50 copies of an original work of art.

The artist application can be found at legalcreative.org and on The Legal Creative’s Facebook page. Artists should be prepared to work within a limited time frame and submit an artist’s statement, proposal and work samples.

Fifty people are also being sought to purchase “shares” in the program, which will entitle them to nine original works of art — one from each artist in the CSA program.

Presale shares are available through May 1 for $300. After May 1, shares will cost $350. Because shares will include nine original, limited-run creations, they are limited to only 50.

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. Community Supported Art shares the same buy-local spirit in connecting artists and collectors.

To learn more, go to legalcreative.org.