As the ACE Mentor Program expands, it needs to maintain a consistent level of program quality. So it has defined a set-up process. ACE staff will guide new affiliates through this set-up process. However, before a start-up can begin to operate, it must be self-sustaining and obtain the following commitments:

  • Pledged involvement of five committed board members. (A pro bono attorney and CPA can be a part of this start up group.)

  • Pledged financial commitments from potential board member firms or others. At a minimum, the new affiliate should raise approximately $50/yr. per student to cover the cost of liability insurance and administrative fee. Fees are assessed after completion of the ACE year and only against the active & pending students registered in the database.

  • Pledged commitment of mentors from mentor firms.

  • Pledged commitment from at least one local high school.

ACE Recommends:

  • Board members should not serve on the board and at the same time be involved in the mentoring process, at least in the initial couple of years of affiliate operations.

  • In its first year the affiliate should focus board development, mentor solicitation as well as school selection.

  • Start-up affiliates should secure the services of an attorney and accountants to help with start-up procedures.  These individuals should serve on the affiliate’s board.

The proper establishment of an ACE affiliate requires adherence to Federal and state laws and regulations as well as to ACE National policies. The pro-bono attorney and accountant can help with this process. ACE Regional Directors are also available to offer guidance and assistance of a non-legal nature.

States have slightly different requirements for creating a nonprofit organization. Most state governments publish on their websites explanations of these requirements. Start-up information by state can also be located at Alternatively, a Google search for “setting up a nonprofit in [state name]” will often turn up the appropriate document. Leaders of new affiliates may wish to familiarize themselves with this information in addition to obtaining professional advice.

This chapter details the formal requirements to establish an affiliate and reviews some of the preliminary operational steps.




ACE staff will guide new affiliates through the set-up process. However, before a start-up can begin to operate, it must be self-sustaining and obtain certain required commitments, and create the start-up documents below.


Please note: This is an EXAMPLE of Affiliate By-Laws. Affiliates will need to adapt this document to their particular circumstances.


Please note: This is an EXAMPLE of Articles of Incorporation. Requirements are different for each state