What are the advantages to the various kinds of Missouri nonprofit?

Missouri has two kinds of “nonprofit” corporations. The older law, contained at Chapter 352, is the “benevolent corporation.” The newer law is the “Nonprofit Corporation Act” at Chapter 355. Is the newer law better? Not always. In some ways, Chapter 352 is more ideal for a group. There are fewer statutory restrictions. A Benevolent Corporation does not have to file …

What is a Missouri Benevolent Corporation?

Many people use the words “nonprofit,” “not for profit,” and “tax exempt” interchangeably. In Missouri, the legal usage is more exact. A Missouri benevolent corporation is a corporation formed under Chapter 352 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes. Benevolent Corporations are also referred to as “Pro Forma” corporations. Missouri has another kind of nonprofit corporation, addressed in Chapter 355. Chapter 355 is …

Only 3% of Missouri Benevolent Corporations have correctly updated charters.

A new analysis of Missouri Benevolent Corporations shows that, on average, these important charitable organizations last updated their charters more than 74 years ago. While over 11,000 benevolent corporations have been formed, only 2.8% have ever updated their original charter. Jonathan Whitehead, an attorney in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, conducted the analysis of publicly available information. “I noticed that my clients …

Constitutional changes for Missouri Charities

Are you the director or leader of a Missouri nonprofit that is thinking about changing its Constitution or bylaws? Make sure you know whether your church or charity is a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation, or a Missouri Benevolent Proforma Corporation! Missouri adopted its nonprofit corporation act in 1953, as Chapter 355 of Missouri’s statutes. Before then, the only way to form …

Church property disputes flare up

According to the Modesto Bee, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, California filed suit against a local congregation, seeking a declaration that the congregation’s property was actually controlled by the Diocese. This is just the latest in a series of property disputes between denominations and congregations. Episcopalian and Presbyterian congregations, in particular, have seen an increase in church property litigation.

Church dispute tests membership rules

Does your church have  expectations for memberships?   A church split in Alabama shows the importance of clear rules. At the New Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Troy, Alabama, longtime deacons and the pastor disagreed about  finances.  The deacons of New Mount Pleasant apparently took the keys to the congregation and locked the pastor out.  According to the Troy Messenger, a …

2nd Circuit dismisses minister’s age discrimination suit

The Second Circuit dismissed an age discrimination suit by a minister against his denomination, congregation, and bishop — but only on the second go around. Hankins v.  NY Ann’l Conf. of the United Methodist Church, et al., 07-4556. The district court first dismissed under the constitutional “ministerial exception” to the ADEA; the Court of appeals reversed, holding that the Religious …

Are Missouri churches facing a new challenge?

An article in the Columbia Missourian says that a St. Joseph Circuit Judge has allowed a negligence claim against a church related to sexual abuse by a “lay pastor” against a child. The decision is complicated, because Missouri’s courts have been reluctant to hold churches liable for sexual abuse based on negligence, which does not necessarily require the church to …