Filing for non-profit status

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March 31, 2011

After careful consideration and much discussion with various other hackerspaces we've currently decided to stay a "Mutual Non-Profit Organization". This leaves us in the most flexible position without having to change how the group operates or is set up to fall in line with what would be required for 501(c)(3). Specifically the member owned tools : as a 501(c)(3) in the event of the group disbanding everything owned by the group would have to be distributed to other 501(c)(3) organizations. Considering how much equipment and tools we have "on loan", it would require a tremendous amount of work to reorganize the group in a similar fashion to what Makers Local 256 has done in Huntsville. They have setup their group as a 501(c)(3) however all tools, equipment, and other included items are designated "owned by the members of the group", this is a sidestep to handling the issues of equipment dispersal in the event of the group disbanding.

November 16, 2010

The changes that were previously mentioned in the pricing for non profit status have been reverted. This is due to the hold on the Cyber Assistant form being released. It will not be released in 2010, and has apparently been put on hold for the past 3 or 4 years. We do not want to wait past our second year to file for the status because of all the backwards paperwork. This means our cost for filing will be $400, and we aim to file shortly after we move into a location. The expected time frame for this is filing somewhere in January or February, and hope to have a response 3 months to 6 months after.

June 10, 2010

The draft of the bylaws has been a long and hard process, but is now ready for the scrutiny of the rest of the group. We encourage others to pick at them and find where they think things should differ. Feel free to place those edits (in an orderly manner) on the Bylaws page itself.

May 14, 2010

The IRS has announced that the Cyber Assist is delayed due to glitches in the system and will not be released in 2010. This comes as a disappointment as the fees would have been only $200 for us to apply. However there is good news and that is that the original changes listed of it costing $850 to apply are not in place yet. The IRS is still accepting the application with the $400 fee instead.

April 30, 2010

The bylaws are expected to be complete within a months time. Once the bylaws are complete, we will proceed with filling out the 1023 form for the 501(c)(3) application. This will put us drastically ahead for when the Cyber Assist is finally released. This way we can apply almost immediately once the form becomes available online.

Cyber Assist is supposed to become available during this year.

March 5, 2010

We have decided to go with the 501(c)(3) option after comparing the following.

Public Benefit 501(c)(3)

  • Cost: $850 if file in paper, $200 if file online
  • This would be a public benefit type of organization and would then qualify for tax exemption.
  • If the group were to dissolve, all assets of the organization would have to go to another public benefit organization, the state government, or federal government.

Mutual Benefit Non Profit

  • If the group were to dissolve, the assets could be dispersed amongst the members.
  • Smaller to no extra cost
  • No Tax exemptions

February 4, 2010

The letter has arrived and we are officially filed with the State of Tennessee as a non profit organization. Next step is to try and get our Tax ID from the IRS.

February 2, 2010

The check has been withdrawn, and it shows going to the Department of Treasury for the State of Tennessee. So looks like they have at least received our paperwork and have attempted filing it. We won't know until another couple of days whether our paperwork was successful or not, but at least it looks like we're moving along.

January 25, 2010

Our paperwork has been filled out and sent off. The total cost was $100. Hopefully within a few weeks, we'll have an answer stating that we are officially a non profit organization within the state of Tennessee. In the mean time we are going to trudge along trying to interest more people. If we get turned down for the non profit status, we'll try again.