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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I wish to begin the process of creating an institution of higher

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I wish to begin the process of creating an institution of higher education, built entirely upon donations and volunteer work. I am uncertain about how to best get the ball rolling, however. It seems that there are two possibilities:

1) start a separate nonprofit with the sole purpose of raising funds to start the school,


2) go ahead and create an online school, allow it to raise money for itself, and eventually build a real-world campus.

I know this is an uncommon question, but I hope that you might be able to give me an idea on what is likely the best way to build a school from the ground up, built on donations NOT investment.

Thanks in advance for your time, and for your patience in answering a question without an easy, pre-written answer.


Keary Bailey
Thank you for your question.

Wow, you are correct, this is a most unusual question.

Before I can give you a few options, I am curious as to how you wish to set up the school. Will it be a "for profit" or a "non profit" entity?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Non profit.
Thank you for your follow-up.

In that situation you really do not need to build up a separate non-profit. Your actual school can have a "raising donations" wing or whatever you wish to call it. You can behave just like any school of higher education and self-raise funds. Just be sure to first contact your local state agencies to find out if you need specific licensing and accreditation to maintain the school in the first place. Even un-orthodox and unique educational institutions must still be licensed and reviewed by the state board especially if you are planning on issuing valid degrees.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 11/1/2010 at 4:48 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your prompt and thorough answer, Mr. Kaplun. I do have one thing I'd like to get clarified, however:

Is it possible for a school to be registered as a nonprofit entity without accreditation or licensing? You see, since the school is really going to be starting from the ground up, it will not be possible to satisfy the requirements for accreditation in the beginning (it's an interesting little problem, you have to be offering courses and graduating students before you can get accredited, but you pretty much have to be accredited to be offering courses and graduating students). It will require funds to get even volunteer faculty on board, and develop the framework for online education.

To be more concise and respectful of your time: I will need to raise funds for the school BEFORE being able to offer courses and graduate students, which means that I will need to be able to raise funds before gaining accreditation and licensing.

Does this problem perhaps necessitate starting a separate nonprofit entity to raise money to start the school?
You are most welcome.

Yes, you can most definitely first create a school, put it in place, and then when you get everything in place, get licensed properly. I do know that some lower level accreditation programs do permit you to get probationary accreditation that you must fulfill within the first 18 months or 2 years of becoming a viable entity. I just do not know what those specific accreditations are for your situation, simply because I am not aware of Kentucky regulations, or what type of school you are planning on building.

Regardless that is a different issue from raising funds. You can still choose to raise funds simply for the actual start of the non-profit, and you do not necessarily need a different entity to do that for you.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 11/1/2010 at 5:02 AM EST
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