A big thank you to everyone who stopped by at our table this weekend! Geek Girl Con was a lot of fun, we met some really wonderful people and overall had a great time.
Now that Geek Girl Con has passed we have something big, SO BIG on our agenda! The ProEQ is trying to raise funds in order to become a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This is where all of you come in! If you can donate that would be awesome and please remember, every dollar counts! Whatever you can do would be greatly appreciated, there’s perks in it for you too. We have prizes listed on our campaign site for contributions, there’s some pretty rad stuff in there! We also need your help spreading the word. Our campaign is set to end on September 19th but we will also have a benefit show on September 22nd at The Kraken with Smooth Sailing, The Loss and Jefferson Death Star.
The ProEQ would like to take a minute to tell you how much we love our community. Everyone has not only been receptive but very helpful as well. Anywhere from submitting zine content, to helping us book, providing spaces for us to hold benefit shows or playing to show support for ProEQ. We really can’t even begin to express our gratitude.
Listed below explains what 501(c)(3) means and how it would help The ProEquality Project better serve our community (all of you!), please read it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s a 501(c)(3) & Why Does ProEQ Project Want to be One?
When people hear the phrase “non-profit,” they generally think of an organization that takes donations where the giver can write off whatever money they donate on their taxes. You may be surprised to learn, then, that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, unless granted tax exempt status by the I.R.S., a non-profit must still pay taxes. That means, when someone files for a non-profit with their local Secretary of State, they are actually filing for a corporation that must pay taxes on any income they bring in. It is only once the federal government has granted tax exempt status that the typical notion of what people think a non-profit is comes in to being.
The tax-exempt status is generally called a 501(c)(3), after the part of the United States Code that it appears in. 26 §USC 501(c)(3) states that the following organizations can be tax exempt:
Corporations…organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes…no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation…and which does not participate in, or intervene in…any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
In short, you can only be granted a tax-exempt non-profit corporation if you fall under the guidelines required by the United States Code. So, that’s what a 501(c)(3) is. Now the question becomes, why does the ProEquality Project, the nonprofit that backs this zine, want to become one?
Well, to put it plainly, we at ProEQ think that in order to have the largest impact with our mission, and to gain the types of funds necessary to carry out our mission, we need to be able to attract the type of donors who will only donate to a 501(c)(3). Working in the Arts Communities, where we seek to nurture and cultivate an all inclusive, safe space and act as a bridge to other orgs, we feel that there are many individuals and grants that we would have greater access to if we were to become tax-exempt. Here is a list of some of the benefits of doing so:
– We could give tax deductible receipts for all donations, making donating more appealing. This is a huge incentive for donors.
– We would be eligible for private foundation grants, as private foundations are required by law to give a minimum amount of money for charitable purposes.
– We would be eligible for breaks on state corporate income, franchise, excise, use, and sales tax, lowering the cost of operation of the non-profit.
– We, ourselves, would not have to pay federal corporate income tax on the organization’s income, allowing us to spend that 15-35% of taxable income on more charitable works.
– We could receive a lower postage rate for bulk mailings.
– We could get discounts on some of our costs for printing and other such services.
Now, I know that there may be a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo in there, but in the end, what it comes down to is this: Getting 501(c)(3) status will allow us to better serve our community and grow the org in a way that we can help the most people possible. After all, that’s why we are here: To make a difference in a world where we see the need for fundamental social change. And the only way to effect such change is to start in one’s own local community.