Leading a Virtual Homeschool Co-op

In today’s podcast Carol Topp interviews homeschool leader Sheri Payne who runs a virtual homeschool co-op that meets online. Homeschool families are pretty familiar with homeschool co-ops. It’s a gathering of homeschool families to cooperate together in teaching classes. They usually meet once a week at a location close to the participating families. But have you ever heard of a virtual homeschool co-op?

In today’s podcast Carol Topp interviews homeschool leader Sheri Payne who runs a virtual homeschool co-op that meets online. Participants attend from across the globe!

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast Sheri explains:

 

  • How the virtual co-op works
  • What technology is used
  • How to operate it without cost to the parents
  • The advantages of a virtual co-op
  • The disadvantages of co-oping online remotely and online

My favorite quote from Sheri in this episode is “Using technology even Socratic discussions are possible!”

Carol and Sheri met online at the I Am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook Group. It is a closed group (meaning you have to request to join) of 530 homeschool leaders from across the USA (and maybe the globe soon!). You can join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

 

Homeschool Co-ops:
How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out

Have you ever thought about starting a homeschool co-op? Are you afraid it will be too much work? Do you think you’ll have to do it all by yourself? Starting a homeschool co-op can be easy! This book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out will give you ideas, inspiration, tips, wisdom and the tools you need to start a homeschool co-op, run it and not burn out!

Click Here to request more information!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

KiwiCo has monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun! Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping)


What’s a Good Way to Handle Conflicts in a Homeschool Group?

Conflict, hurt feeling, gossip, even bullying. Does it happen in your homeschool group Probably! What can you do about it? Click to find out! #homeschool #co-opConflict, hurt feeling, gossip, even bullying. Does it happen in your homeschool group Probably!

What can you do about it?

In today’s podcast Carol Topp interviews homeschool leader Anjoli Gallo. Anjoli runs a group in southern Florida and she shares insight into dealing with conflict.  But she also shares some great tips on how she manages her time so leading a group doesn’t take over her life.

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp and Anjoli discuss:

  • Challenges she faced as a new leader
  • What to do when members blame you!
  • Merging two groups together
  • How she limits the time she works on group stuff
  • Dealing with conflict (get them alone to talk about it)
  • Why being a leader is like being a school principal
  • Remember: you don’t know what is going on in peoples’ lives

My favorite quote from Anjoli in this episode is “Don’t call them out in front of everybody, you just speak to them privately… they will appreciate you not embarrassing them.”

In the podcast, Carol mentioned the I Am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook Group. It is a closed group (meaning you have to request to join) of 530 homeschool leaders from across the USA. You can join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

Is there conflict in your homeschool group? Need help managing the volunteers in your organization? Carol Topp’s book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out has a chapter devoted to Managing Volunteer and conflict!

 

Homeschool Co-ops:
How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out

This book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out will give you ideas, inspiration, tips, wisdom and the tools you need to start a homeschool co-op, run it and not burn out!

Click Here to request more information!

 

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

KiwiCo has monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun! Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping)


 

How Can Your Homeschool Group Feel Like a Community?

One of the best things about being in a homeschool group is the community of support you can receive. But do you know how to build a sense of community? Click to find out more from Carol Topp, CPA. #homeschool #co-op

One of the best things about being in a homeschool group is the community of support you can receive. But do you know how to build a sense of community?

In today’s podcast Carol Topp interviews homeschool leader Angela Weaver. Angela runs a large group in Lynchburg, Virginia and she shares her experience on many topics. Angela had so much advice, that it takes three episodes and this is the third of three parts!

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp and Angela discuss:

  • Having a common vision is key
  • Ideas on how to build a community
  • How a fundraiser for others can build community
  • A sample purpose statement
  • How the purpose statement gets acted out through activities
  • How serving others can build community within your group
  • Are homeschoolers losing a sense of community?
  • What could happen if we don’t have a supportive community?

My favorite quote from Angela in this episode is “It’s important that everyone is on the same page so you make decisions that stay in line with your purpose.”

In the podcast, Carol mentioned the I Am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook Group. It is a closed group (meaning you have to request to join) of 530 homeschool leaders from across the USA. You can join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product:

Phone Consultation with Carol Topp, CPA

Do you have questions about leading your homeschool organization? Carol Topp’s website, books and this podcast are a great way to learn the basics, but maybe you need advice specific to your group. Carol Topp, CPA can arrange a private phone consultations with you and your board members.

Phone Consultation: A pre-arranged phone call to discuss your questions. My most popular service for homeschool leaders. It’s like having your own homeschool expert CPA on the phone!

Cost: $75/hour to nonprofit organizations.

We can arrange a conference call so all your board members can call in from their own homes. The call can be recorded for those unable to attend.

Contact HomeschoolCPA, Carol Topp, CPA, to arrange a telephone consultation.

Click Here to request more information!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Time 4 Learning

Time4Learning provides the tools and resources students need to build skills and confidence in the core subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies. No matter how long you’ve been homeschooling or whatever your current situation, Time4Learning is a flexible, online curriculum that can be tailored to your child’s individual needs.

The comprehensive, award-winning curriculum allow students to study confidently and excel at their own pace, making it ideal for all kinds of learners, whether they are mainstream, gifted or special needs.

Click Here to Visit Time 4 Learning!


What’s the Best Size for a Homeschool Group Board?

Do you wonder if your homeschool group leadership team is too large or too small? What is the best size to be?

In today’s podcast Carol Topp interviews homeschool leader Angela Weaver. Angela leads a large group in Lynchburg, Virginia and she shares advice on many topics. Angela had so much experience, that it takes three episodes and this is the second of three parts!

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp and Angela discuss:

  • How to avoid “freaking out” if an event doesn’t happen
  • The perfect size of a board: large or small?
  • Having teams do many jobs so the board isn’t doing everything
  • How to improve communication on a board
  • Having homeschool dads on the board
  • Is an odd number of board members essential?
  • What is the board president’s job? Is it to do everything? NO!

My favorite quote from Angela in this episode is “I’m not willing to sacrifice my sanity for a picnic.”  Can you relate?

 

 

 

In the podcast, Carol mentioned the I Am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook Group. It is a closed group (meaning you have to request to join) of 530 homeschool leaders from across the USA. You can join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

 

Featured Product:

Help your homeschool group get organized and run smoothly!

Author and homeschool advisor, Carol Topp, CPA, has created a Homeschool Organization Board Manual. It is a template to create a board member binder. It has:

  • A list of important documents to keep in your binder
  • Section dividers so you can organize the important papers
  • Tools to help you run your meetings smoothly including
  • A sample agenda that you can use over and over again
  • A calendar of board meetings

But this is more than just a few cover sheets for your binder. It is also a 55-page board training manual with helpful articles on:

  • Suggested Board Meeting Topic List
  • Board Duties
  • Job Descriptions for Board of Directors
  • What Belongs in the Bylaws?
  • Compensation and Benefits for Board Members
  • Best Financial Practices Checklist
  • How to Read and Understand Financial Statements
  • Developing a Child Protection Policy

Read more about the Homeschool Organization Board Manual


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Time 4 Learning

Time4Learning provides the tools and resources students need to build skills and confidence in the core subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies. No matter how long you’ve been homeschooling or whatever your current situation, Time4Learning is a flexible, online curriculum that can be tailored to your child’s individual needs.

The comprehensive, award-winning curriculum allow students to study confidently and excel at their own pace, making it ideal for all kinds of learners, whether they are mainstream, gifted or special needs.

Click Here to Visit Time 4 Learning!


Boards, Burnout and Bylaws: Leadership Tips from a Homeschool Leader

Ever wish you could just sit down with another homeschool leader who understands you and your issues? In today’s podcast Carol Topp interviews homeschool leader Angela Weaver. Angela runs a large group in Lynchburg, Virginia and she shares insight into many topics. It will feel like you’re listening to a good friend. Angela had so much wisdom, that it takes 3 episodes!

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp and Angela discuss:

  • The perils of being in leadership for too long
  • Burnout for leaders
  • How bylaws can help a homeschool group
  • Hosting elections for board members
  • The importance of term limits for homeschool board members
  • Founders syndrome-avoid it!
  • Having an events team
  • What to do if no one wants to organize events

My favorite quote from Angela in this episode is, “No events happened if two people didn’t sign up to lead it.”  Wow! She found that that one simple rule worked!

 

 

 

In the podcast, Carol mentioned the I Am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook Group. It is a closed group (meaning you have to request to join) of 530 homeschool leaders from across the USA. You can join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

FEATURED PRODUCT from HomeschoolCPA:

Homeschool Co-ops:
How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out

Need more information on how to start and run a homeschool co-op? Carol Topp’s book, Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out  is packed with helpful tips and advice from other homeschool leaders.

Starting a homeschool co-op can be easy! This book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out will give you ideas, inspiration, tips, wisdom and the tools you need to start a homeschool co-op, run it and not burn out!

Click Here to request more information!

 

 

Does a Nonprofit Need to File Any Tax Returns Before They Apply for Tax Exempt Status?

Does a Nonprofit Need to File Any Tax Returns Before They Apply for Tax Exempt Status?Does a Nonprofit Need to File Any Tax Returns Before They Apply for Tax Exempt Status?  IRS requires organizations to file information returns before they apply for tax exempt status.

Here’s what the IRS website states:

Tax Law Compliance Before Exempt Status Is Recognized

An organization that claims tax-exempt status under section 501(a), but has not yet received an IRS letter recognizing exempt status, is generally required to file an annual exempt organization return.

The IRS website goes on to explain when you must file an IRS information returns:

  • Before you apply for tax exempt status
  • While your application for tax exemption is pending
  • After granted 501c3 status by the IRS.

Fortunately, the form your organization (and all small nonprofits with annual gross revenues of less than $50,000) would need to file is the 990N, an electronic postcard that asks about 8 questions: name and address of organization, the principle officer’s name and check a box that your annual gross revenues are under $50,000.

It is very short and would take less than 10 minutes once a year.

How to get added to the IRS database and file the Form 990N

Listen to the podcast as Carol Topp, CPA explains this very confusing requirement from the IRS:

 

 

Featured Product

Have more questions about your homeschool organization’s tax exempt status? My book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization would be a big help.

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

What is Unrelated Business Income or UBIT?

What is Unrelated Business Income or UBIT and what does it have to do with my homeschool group?A nonprofit group may raise a lot of money from fund raising. These fundraisers could be so successful the leaders may wonder if the homeschool group owes anything to the government in taxes. For the most part, fund raising is not considered part of your nonprofit group’s mission; it is just a means to the end. After all, your group’s mission is to encourage homeschooling, not to sell ads, pizza or other products.

The Internal Revenue Service calls the money a homeschool group or any nonprofit raises from a fundraiser “Unrelated Business Income,” meaning it is money collected in a trade or business that is not related to your primary mission (or what the IRS calls your “exempt purpose”).

Your homeschool organization could have unrelated business income if you sell:

  • T-shirts
  • candy bars
  • entertainment book,
  • candles
  • pizza coupons
  • ads on your website
  • ads in your yearbook

Fortunately, the IRS has several exceptions to paying the UBIT tax:

  • A $1,000 threshold
  • Volunteer efforts
  • Not regularly carried on
  • Selling donated items

One of these exceptions may apply to most homeschool organizations.

 

Listen as Carol explains the 4 exceptions to UBIT:

 

Featured Product

Do you have more questions about conducting fundraisers? My book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization can help.

  • Does your homeschool group manage their money well?
  • Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent?
  • Do you know how to prevent fraud?

This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement, and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

Is My Homeschool Group Required to Have 501c3 Tax Exempt Status?

Is My Homeschool Group Required to Have 501c3 Tax Exempt Status?Some homeschool groups are very small and are not interested in the benefits of tax exemption such as accepting donations or doing fundraising.

Do these small homeschool groups really need 501c3 tax exempt status?

No. They don’t.

They can run their activities without the benefits of 501c3 tax exempt status.

But then how does the IRS or their state view this group? Will they owe taxes on any surplus? Yes, they will owe tax because they do not have tax exempt status.  If they have a surplus, how do they go about filing a tax return and paying taxes?

There are a few possibilities. The IRS could view these homeschool groups as:

  • A 501(c )(7) social club with self-declared tax exempt status
  • An educational organization that could be so small* they can self-declare tax exempt status (or should apply for 501c3 status) and be filing an annual information return, most likely the 990-N ePostcard
  • A gathering of friends simply pooling money for a group activity. But then they probably need to operate in cash (or Venmo payments) without a checking account, official name, EIN, etc.
  • A business who should be paying taxes!

*under $5,000 of annual gross revenues

Can you guess which one the IRS prefers? Yep, it’s the last one! That means your homeschool group who hasn’t applied for tax exempt status should be paying taxes!

Listen to Carol Topp as she explains these options.

 

Featured Resource

In the podcast I mentioned my book:

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Should your homeschool group be paying taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

When Applying for an EIN, They Want my Social Security Number!

When Applying for an EIN for my homeschool group, They Want my Social Security Number! Should I be concerned?When Applying for an EIN, They Want my Social Security Number!

Homeschool leader, Paula, was applying for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) online, but the IRS website asked for her SSN (Social Security Number). She is reluctant to give it out. Should she be concerned?

Someone (the “responsible party”) must give their Social Security Number (SSN) so that the IRS can always trace leadership of a nonprofit (or a business) to a human being. The IRS wants the name and Social Security Number of a specific individual it can contact if needed. Requesting a name and SSN is also meant to prevent people from setting up dummy or scam organizations.

Why does a homeschool group need an EIN?

1.     The homeschool group is brand new and needs an EIN to open a checking account in the group’s name.

2.     The organization needs a new EIN after it incorporates as a nonprofit corporation in their state.

Who is the Responsible Party?

  1. In general, the Responsible Party is an individual who has direct or indirect authority over the organization and its assets.
  2. The instructions to Form SS-4 give the definition of a Responsible Party as:
  3. “responsible party” is the person who has a level of control over, or entitlement to, the funds or assets in the entity that, as a practical matter, enables the individual, directly or indirectly, to control, manage, or direct the entity and the disposition of its funds and assets.

Can I change the Responsible Party?

You can request the IRS remove your name from the EIN when you step down from being treasurer.
When that time comes, fill out IRS Form 8822-B and change the “responsible party” to the new leader.

Also listen to podcast #81 How can we change the contact name on our EIN?

If you have questions about applying for an EIN or the Form SS-4, read the chapter on “Checking Accounts Done Right” in my book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

 

Featured Product:

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

  • Does your homeschool group manage their money well?
  • Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent?
  • Do you know how to prevent fraud?

This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement, and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Should Your Homeschool Group Be An LLC?

Should Your Homeschool Group Be An LLC?Have you heard of LLC status? It stands for Limited Liability Company status. Sounds like a good things, right? Doesn’t everyone want to limit their liabilities? Yes, they do! So maybe your homeschool group should be an LLC! Or maybe not!

The reason that most for-profit businesses obtain the LLC status is for limited liability. I organized my own sole proprietorship accounting practice as an LLC because I wanted limited liability and protection of my personal assets.

Becoming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a more complicated issue for nonprofit organizations. Most small nonprofits such as a homeschool co-op do not become LLC’s because the IRS has 12 conditions that must be met for the LLC to be tax exempt. For a nonprofit organization such as a homeschool co-op, nonprofit corporation status in your state brings similar protections of limited liability.

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp will share:

  • What does LLC mean?
  • What is limited liability?
  • How nonprofit corporation offers limited liability
  • Becoming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a complicated issue for nonprofits.
  • How the IRS views nonprofit LLCs

Read more about LLC status for homeschool groups:
Can a nonprofit homeschool co-op be an LLC?

Should my homeschool group file as an LLC?

Should your homeschool group be an LLC?

 

FEATURED PRODUCT

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group? I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

Click Here to request more information!