Soroptimist: “501(c)(3) Organizations: Fundraising, the IRS and State Law”

“501(c)(3) Organizations: Fundraising, the IRS and State Law”

By: Governor-Elect Gail Dekreon

Are you going to Conference in Visalia this year? It is such a cute little town and it has the greatest shoe store.

Some of us would like to go but cannot afford the registration fee or the hotel rooms. Some of us get really creative and pack 3 or 4 members in one room to help with the cost. Some clubs have a “Delegates Fund” to help underwrite the costs of attending Conference, District Meetings and even Conventions.

Did you know that our Soroptimist bylaws no longer dictate that all funds raised from the public must go only into a club’s service fund? Keeping in mind that the major portion of the income we raise from fundraisers should be spent to provide community service in alignment with our mission, we are allowed to use some of the profits to fund our club members’ education by covering things like delegates’ expenses.

If we do make member education a part of our club budget then when we advertise or market a fundraising event we need to, and must, include this type of language:

Proceeds of this event will go to Soroptimist International of ____________, which contributes to projects such as Live Your Dream Education & Training Awards for Women and _______.

We must NOT use language like “all proceeds go to charity” or “all proceeds go to benefit the women and children at __________ Project”, unless it is absolutely true.

Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA) wrote a paper in May 2015 on this very subject. All of SIA’s United States clubs are under SIA’s 501(c) (3) umbrella, so SIA is very good at giving us the information to maintain our non-profit status. You can find this paper on our Region website under “Members Resources” in the section “Admin Resources” and “Treasurers Resources”.

The title of the five page article is “501(c)(3) Organizations: Fundraising, the IRS and State Law”! So easy!

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