We are very proud to announce the The Legal Creative Endowment Fund has been established with the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. The creation of an endowment fund is indicative of the board's proper planning for long-term stability, fiscal responsibility, and financial visibility. Donations may be made directly to our endowment fund through the link here, just choose 'The Legal Creative Endowment Fund" from the drop down menu. 

Youngstown, OH – The Legal Creative will be hosting its annual Spring fundraisier at Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts, 32 N Phelps St, Youngstown, OH 44503, on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at 6:00 pm.

The obsession with Legal Creative Board Member Paul Hagman's mustache has grown county - possibly state - wide. Why not s(h)ave it for a great cause?

All proceeds raised during this event will go toward offsetting costs associated with future legal clinics, ideally making artist/attorney consultations free for participating artists.  A goal of $1,500.00 has been set for the event, so guests are encouraged to arrive ready to pledge their donation to shave or save Mr. Hagman’s legendary ‘stache!

Donations will be accepted throughout the evening, or you can make your pledge early online at legalcreative.org.  At midnight, the side that receives the most donations will determine whether we SAVE or SHAVE! 

Live music, including The Legal Creative’s 2014 Community Supported Arts recipients Sleep Projection, will be featured all night as the Jimmy Fro Show celebrates its 100th podcast episode. 

The Legal Creative will have information available about our Legal Clinics for Creatives and The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County partnership.

To learn more about The Legal Creative, visit www.legalcreative.org or find us on Facebook.

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.