The application for charitable org / 501(c)(3) status was ready to submit! Then our pro-bono lawyer spotted problematic language in the purpose statement filed with Washington state.
Now, my mom is filing an amendment along with a fee to fix it. What does this mean? Even more delays on the road to 501c3 charitable org status. Argh.
I’m feeling impatient, but I know it will get done. In the end, fixing the state documents will increase our chances of getting 501c3 status, and that’s the important thing.
And 501c3 status is critical if we want to raise funds. It makes donations tax deductible for US donors. Without this designation, I don’t see much hope for raising funds. I’m already at a disadvantage; I’m not much of a fund raiser. I kind of hate fund raising, to be honest. I loathed fund raising events when the kids were in school, and hated being hit up for donations right and left. Having been on the getting-hit-up side, jumping over to the hitting-people-up side is kind of the last thing I want to do.
What would be my pitch? “Please give me money to educate Rohingya refugees, but sorry, you can’t take a tax deduction.”
I tried drumming up funds online without 501c3 status… and made about $100. Bless the hearts of people who gave. But more, orders of magnitude more, is needed.
So what’s the big deal about the tax deduction? For the answer, we needn’t look further than my brain. When we were in the 33% tax bracket, we paid $33 in federal tax on every additional $100 earned. In that scenario, giving $100 to a non-501c3 charity felt like writing a check for $133 but the charity only received $100. That was a 25% overhead. It didn’t feel right, and it usually nudged me toward not tipping.
Also, what kind of legit organization doesn’t have 501c3 status? If the outfit couldn’t be bothered to do some basic paperwork, how could I trust them to use my money competently?
So we’re doing the paperwork. Slowly but surely.
FYI – here are the Goals for RREF , if you are wondering why we need more than $100 in donations.