Thursday, May 16, 2013

Who Knew Non-Profits Took So Much Time

I AM NOT discouraged, I will NOT get discouraged, I believe in what I am doing and I follow the Biblical principal in the old testament of 1 Chronicles 22:13 which states, 'Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

Well, I may not be dealing with the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses (the ten commandments), but let me tell you that it isn't easy dealing with the decrees and laws of the state of Washington or the IRS to set up a non-profit organization either.

Then again, I guess if they made it easy, we would have more scammers claiming to be legitimate wouldn't we?

I discovered I first must register with the State of Washington Charitable site just to be able to take in donations of any type and that just lets them know I am here and I am doing business and I will be working on non-profit status.

They want you to do a feasibility study that costs thousands to see if your charity will be worth setting up, will I have donors who want to contribute to our cause?

Once everything is set, then you have to start working with the IRS and that can take between 6 months and a year and once you are set up, you are initially set up by the IRS as a 'for profit,' charity and have just over 2 years to declare non-profit status.

This is looking more and more like I am going to have to find an attorney and talk to them.  Someone who is more savvy in setting these up than I am.

You see, while so many of you are charitable and wonderful and donate so much time, fabric and yes, money at times, I get alot of Emails asking me to send a tax deductible receipt to the quilter and I simply cannot do that because I am NOT set up as a non-profit!
So, for those seeking a way to write off their quilts, they will not send them to dispatchers or others unless they receive a receipt.

Then I get those who think somewhere in my home I have all these quilts squirreled away and take them in and keep them!  No, no and no again...I do not keep any of the quilts I am sent to reach out to others! I am NOT a hoarder and I simply have NO room for these, not to mention I truly believe in the Karma principle.

The other thing is I must apply for an EIN (employer identification number) so I can open a separate bank account for the non-profit and whether or not I will have employee's isn't the issue, what is the issue is that without an EIN, a bank will not allow me to open a business bank account.  I haven't checked into a DBA account, but it seems no matter what, I will have to show the IRS I am serious.

I found out even if you do not make one cent, do not bring in one thin dime, you still have to file a tax report showing you made nothing.

So, it appears there is a lot of red tape and people have done it and continue to do it and many non-profits fall on their faces and I don't want to do that.  All I wanted was a simple way to make quilts for those in need and to be able to give people the receipts they need.

Back to the rules manual for me! Still only into 28 pages of 267.   


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comments on my website and about the HeartStrings article.

    I wanted to comment that it is possible to organize a group without having nonprofit status -- that's what we do at HeartStrings and we've been doing it for 6+ years now. There will always be people who want a receipt for a donated quilt but many more who will donate even without one.


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