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Re: community_garden digest, Vol 1 #858 - 1 msg -- Re:fund raising (lisa vandyke)

  • Subject: [cg] Re: community_garden digest, Vol 1 #858 - 1 msg -- Re:fund raising (lisa vandyke)
  • From: RandomRose@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 19:10:44 EST

Dear Lisa,

You are correct in understanding that in order to establish a 501c3, an organization's mission and function must fit into categories of purpose (such as educational, as you mentioned) already defined by law.  But these definitions aren't limited to educational purposes.  They extend to purposes such as (1) Religious, (2) Charitable -- this is further defined by activities that :  (a) Relieve poverty, (b) Beautify the community, (c) Lessen the burdens of government, (d) Promote health, (e) Promote social welfare, (f) Promote environmental conservation, (g) Promote the arts, (h) Promote patriotism, (i) Promote ameture sports; (3) Scientific, (4) Literary, (5) Educational, (6) Prevent Cruelty to Children and Animals... etc.

There is an organizational and operational test that is used by the IRS to determine the purpose best fit for your organization.  If the organization is found to be outside the definitions required for a 501c3 status, there are other structures that exist that allow organiztions to benefit in ways and means of taxes...

A few good resources are the following:

     Manusco, Anthony.  "How to Form a Non-Profit Corporation,"  Nolo Press, Berkeley, CA 1997.

     Warda, Mark.  "How to Form a Non-Profit (With Forms," Sourcebooks, Inc., 2000.

Please note that this advice is not a substitute for legal counsel.  Talk to an attorney as well to guide you through the process.

Hope this helps!

Kind Regards,
Lisa M. Rose

Kent County Food Systems Council 
Grand Valley State University 
      Graduate Student -- 
      Dept. of Public and Nonprofit Administration


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