Emerging Nonprofits

PLEASE NOTE: This application is for start-up organizations that seek to incorporate and/or obtain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt recognition from the IRS.

If you are a new nonprofit or a group seeking to incorporate, please review the resources for the Starting a New Nonprofit topic on our Articles and On-Demand Webinars library.


Pro Bono Partnership assists qualifying nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York (primarily the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, not New York City) with their business legal needs. The nonprofits must primarily serve the communities within these three states. We do not assist nonprofits that are primarily focused on serving communities outside of the tristate region, even if the nonprofits are located in our service area.

Pro Bono Partnership does not assist individuals, houses of worship, or for-profit organizations.

If the Partnership determines that we can help your group with incorporation and/or applying for tax exemption, there will be a non-refundable administrative fee of $695, which is in addition to all required state and federal filing fees.

The procedures set forth on this web page and the administrative fees are subject to revision in the future.

Any information that you submit via this form or by mail or fax is not protected by the attorney-client privilege. Submitting a request for legal assistance to Pro Bono Partnership is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Greater Hartford Area

Is your emerging nonprofit is located in the Greater Hartford area with a revenue less than $300,000? The Nonprofit Support Program may be of extra help to you.


Step 1

Prior to applying for legal assistance, please make sure you have gathered and completed all of the following Required Documents for groups seeking to incorporate:

  1. Business Plan or similar document. At a minimum, this should address the following:
    • What is the mission of the organization?
    • Detailed description of actual and proposed activities of the organization that will accomplish the mission.
    • Who are the target beneficiaries of the actual and proposed activities of the organization?
    • In which communities will the activities be conducted?
    • What other groups are addressing the same mission and/or issues in these communities and how will your organization differ?
    • What are the organization’s expected sources of financial support?
    • What specific fundraising plans does the organization have?
    • Proposed three-year budget (see sample budget template in Excel or PDF).
    • Description of your experience, if any, working with a charitable organization.
    • List of potential board members (at least three) and their experience, if any, working with a charitable organization.
    • Proposed staffing plan for the organization (employees and/or volunteers).
    • Summary of steps taken, if any, to partner with another organization to carry out your actual and proposed activities.
    • Have you worked with a fiscal sponsor in connection with the activities of the organization? Yes ____ No____
      • If yes, please provide the name of the sponsor:________________________
      • If no, do you plan to work with a fiscal sponsor?  Yes ____   No____
    • Provide any additional information that you would like us to consider.

For additional resources relating to developing an effective business plan, including the names of organizations that might be able to help you, please see the resources for the Starting a New Nonprofit topic on our Articles and On-Demand Webinars library.

  1. Sample grant proposals (if any)
  2. If the nonprofit is already incorporated, a copy of (a) the Certificate of Incorporation (sometimes referred to as Articles of Incorporation) and (b) Bylaws, if adopted. Please include any amendments to the Certificate of Incorporation. If you have the copy of the Certificate of Incorporation that is stamped “Filed” with the state of incorporation, please send us that version.
  3. Brochures, fliers or similar materials (if any) that describe your organization

Step 2

Please complete and submit the form accessible from the button below.

Step 3

Immediately after completing Step 2, please email all required documents to information@probonopartner.org or fax or mail all required documents to your local Pro Bono Partnership office. Your application WILL NOT be processed until we have received them.

Please note that our email server will not accept emails that have attachments that collectively exceed 9 MB in size.  If your attachment(s) exceeds 9 MB, you will need to send us two or more emails. In the final email that you send us, please indicate how many emails in total that you sent us.

Please do not scan all of the requested documents as one PDF. Please submit each of the requested documents as a separate document.