It is done. After innumerable delays – some of them comical and all of them frustrating – the paperwork for the Photography Park, Inc. to qualify as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code has been filed. Check the Big Box.
Remembering that this is part of our mission statement…
“To publicly document the creation process in order to assist others in creating additional parks.”
… let’s review a little. To qualify for most grants (and/or generate lots of donations), your organization needs to be a 501(c)(3). To be a 501(c)(3) you need to become a legal entity (we chose a non-profit corporation) in your State. In order to be a non-profit corporation, you must have a board of directors, adopt by-laws and register with the State. (My advice? Hire a lawyer.) Once you have all that, you must adopt certain by-laws to qualify as a 501(c)(3). Then you can file the paperwork with the IRS. To do that requires you to open a pay.gov account (surprise!) to pay the IRS to process your tax-exempt status request. Then you wait. (I skipped over mailing address, bank account, board members addresses and dozens of other details.)
In case you want to get started on this process, go here: The Foundation Center.
When you get lost in the wealth of information that they provide (get used to the feeling) you can click on this link. Legal Essentials of Starting a Nonprofit Organization
The Foundation Center holds in-person training around Atlanta (and other places). I’d recommend that option.
If you’d like to look at what’s in store for you when you finally get to the filing point, check out the IRS worksheet for the 1023 form. Or, you might qualify for the 1023EZ. Or, you might qualify for the insane asylum after wading through their web site. Good luck.
July 22, 2016