“From our birthday, until we die, / Is but the winking of an eye." - William Butler Yeats
How exciting to start a nonprofit, to dream about all the good to accomplish in the world! The starting passion, joy, and energy drives nonprofit founders to put in the time, effort, sacrifices, and money to create a new organization that will grow, change, and mature, in many ways like a human life will develop or a seed will take root and grow.
What are the legal aspects of a nonprofit corporation’s life cycle? It starts with “birth” or formation, then the first steps of corporate development, and onward into operational governance. Later nonprofit life comes with potential transitions like mergers and multi-entity structuring (i.e., corporate “marriage” and “children” or subsidiaries), and then possibly dissolution (i.e., “death,” at least in the legal sense). Many legal compliance and best practices considerations come into play for each stage.