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Operating a nonprofit corporation can be both rewarding and challenging. Organizing people and raising money for a cause you believe in can be soul-satisfying. Yet you'll also have to remember that running a legally recognized "corporation" requires some attention to detail, and you will need to understand and follow some basic rules -- both corporate and tax-related IRS rules. The first rule is to hold required meetings of directors and members and to keep minutes of these meetings in a corporate records book. The IRS also has a thing or two to say about what a nonprofit can and cannot do. You will need to become familiar with the IRS rules governing tax-exempt nonprofits. For example, nonprofits cannot distribute any profits to their members, contribute money to political campaigns, or engage in lobbying activity (except in limited circumstances).
For more information about these rules, see Protecting Your Nonprofit Corporation's Tax-Exempt Status.