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Time to dissolve Your nonprofit?
orange and white construction gate with sign saying road closed to show the end of the nonprofit road for nonprofit dissolution
Nonprofit people are some of the most passionate, driven, amazing people around. And yet...sometimes despite all our passion and desire to do good, we need to call it quits. 

That's ok. Every path comes to an end eventually.

There's a variety of reasons nonprofits may close their doors, including:
  • They run out of money, energy or volunteers (it happens even for great ideas)
  • They've accomplished their mission and the work is ending (a happy reason!)
  • External forces make it impossible to continue (this can be frustrating for everyone involved)
The end of life treatment for nonprofits is called "dissolution." It's a legal process that corporations must go through to close down. There's a state statute that controls what nonprofits have to do before they can go out of business. At the end of the process all board members are released from their duties.

Unfortunately, dissolution is not an easy process. Deciding to dissolve is just the beginning of what can be a long, complex, and emotional process. Even the smallest nonprofit has to go through the same legal process. 

Why? It can seem very unfair. But  the government gave us a special duty with our income tax exemption. And they want to make sure nobody steal charitable funds on the way out the door.
You may have noticed nothing in nonprofit land comes as easy as we want it to. This is true for closing down a nonprofit, too.  Dissolution takes a long time and can be a bit of a journey.

In addition to the statutory process, there are usually contracts and debts that need to be settled. Plus, by law, we have to tell the state and federal government that we're going out of business in a very specific way and comply with the regulations on charities during the winding up of the nonprofit's affairs. These things take time and government paperwork.

The average nonprofit dissolution process takes about 6 months to complete.

There are multiple forms and statutory processes you must go through to do it right - and cut the cords from the board to the nonprofit.

If you just "abandon" the corporation - then your nonprofit's not legally closed and your board members are still potentially liable.

Fortunately you can do the dissolution yourself - with the help of this online course created by an experienced nonprofit attorney for people just like you.

Dissolving can be hard emotionally. The paperwork shouldn't be another source of stress. Now you can get through it with integrity.

The DIY Dissolution is a course for nonprofits in Minnesota who want to do it right. It's for people who want to protect their directors and officers.

This course is designed to guide you step-by-step. It will help you safely end the nonprofit - without wasting your time or money on costly mistakes.

This Course Takes You from Start to Finish:

  • Preparation: Prepare for dissolution taking stock of the work ahead
  • Documenting Decisions: Protect your fiduciaries / directors, choose a successor in interest
  • Communications: Working with donors and funders
  • State Notification: Prepare correct documents required for state corporate notification
  • ​Attorney General Notification: Prepare documents for AG review and and approval
  • ​Creditor Notification: Meet publication requirements and prepare letters to creditors
  • ​Waiting & Winding Down: Negotiate debts and any transfer assets to the successor org
  • ​Filing Dissolution Articles: Prepare articles that meet statutory requirements
  • ​Final Returns & Reports: Understand your final filing requirements
These are the things an attorney usually walks a client through. Not everyone has the luxury of hiring a lawyer - which is why this course was created to help you.

Let's be real - a lot of the things you'll need to do here aren’t exactly exciting. Sitting down to take stock, notifying your creditors, donors, funders...dealing with companies that are so bureaucratic that they make life difficult…it can feel scary and hard.

Faced with that, a lot of boards just walk away. They stop paying the D&O insurance and let the corporate renewal lapse - "abandoning" the nonprofit without thinking the important things through. But this leaves the board and executive staff open to personal liability from unpaid bills, civil law suits, etc.

Some nonprofits are big and unwieldy, they have a lot of stuff and a lot of debts. They really need the personal attention of a lawyer - it's great to have, and, its expensive. 

It can cost upwards of $6000 for an attorney to walk you through every step.
But some nonprofits may not have the funds left to go through the process with a lawyer. DIY Dissolution is the next best thing. You get the right education and information about how to wrap it all up - without the giant bill. 

For just $885 DIY Dissolution guides you through the process of winding up the nonprofit legally and with protection for the board. And since it's built by a lawyer focused on nonprofit issues, you benefit from insights gained from years of experience - with less stress.

Inside the Course You Have Access to:

  • Detailed internal assessment and inventory to get you prepared
  • Audio and written lessons about the process including pro tips and tricks
  • Complete sample documents for every step
  • ​Detailed video document demos explaining how to complete the documents
  • ​Strategies on how to deal with demanding creditors
  • ​Pointers on how to make things final with the IRS
All the information you need. Take the process step by step - from start to finish. The lessons are all in one place - available to you 24/7.
You will do all the work. This a do-it-yourself course with sample documents and pre-recorded lessons. It is an educational course and is not legal representation from Jess Birken (if you want lawyer representation for the dissolution go to www.birkenlaw.com).
Complete the lessons and prepare the documents - by the end of the course, you will have completed the shutdown with integrity.
What if you hit a roadblock or have questions? Don't worry, if you get stuck, you can upgrade to get a short session of lawyer advice for a small fee. Simply purchase a low cost 30 or 60 minute flat fee advice-only session to talk to an experienced attorney. You can purchase them any time online from inside the course.
DIY Dissolution was created by nonprofit attorney Jess Birken. She is nationally recognized as a legal innovator, creating tech-focused solutions that provide more legal access to small nonprofits. 

What Others Have Said About Instructor Jess Birken:

"Jess is able to educate her customers, which helps us make better decisions.
Our nonprofit would not be where it is today if we didn't have her help."

"When it comes to learning about nonprofits, you want Jess Birken."

"Jess is honest and forthright, direct to the point and very knowledgeable"

"Her integrity, knowledge, and communication skills are far superior to others"

"Your webinar was excellent and well worth my time. I thought the value you offered to participants was outstanding."
You can do this – you just need the right guidance. With DIY Dissolution you'll get the right information and sidestep the most common spots where people screw up. By the end of the course, you’ll be through the process.

Enroll in DIY Dissolution Today

Get started on your Do-It-Yourself Dissolution
Step 1: Contact
Step 2: Agree to Terms
1. You understand that you are not hiring a lawyer by using this course. This document product includes educational content to inform your decision-making.

2. No person will review your documents you prepare or provide you with advice for your particular situation. You are solely responsible for your own final documents, filings and actions.

3. The DIY Dissolution course is not acting as your attorney and is not providing legal advice. Using the course doesn't create an attorney-client relationship.

4. The product is designed to help you prepare documents and get through the dissolution process in the state of Minnesota. This product may work elsewhere but is designed for Minnesota state compliance.

5. If you need full service legal representation at any time, then you should hire an attorney. Birken Law Office PLLC is available to provide that service to you, subject to conflicts checks, etc. You may upgrade with Limited Scope Work-Sessions or to Full Service Representation at any point throughout the course. Any upgrade to lawyer service will be governed by an engagement agreement provided at the time of hiring.

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