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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:34 am 
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Paul, I think it's the luxury of being able to privately bootstrap themselves into existence makes the upfront publicity less important, but I'm sure it's coming.

Pyro, which this, the non-profit status?

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:33 pm 
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
The website is coming, should be up pretty quick.

As far as why we don't have 501c3 status yet, (I'm assuming that's what pyro was asking), it strikes me that some parts of the process are simplified when you're doing it at the start, rather than after an org. has been around for 2 or 3 years.

I'm not going to go into specifics, but think about this summer.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:42 am 
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We have been doing it from the start hence the summer.


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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:35 am 
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Ok, then, I don't know.

Someone who's been around longer than I can answer the question of why we don't have our 501c3 status yet.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:55 am 
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or why we need it.


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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:29 pm 
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As far as why we need it, I have some thoughts on that that I'll share.

Note: these are my thoughts as me, an individual, and not speaking as a rep. for the board or the org.


It's been my experience that the non-profit community is more likely to take an organization more seriously if they've gone through, and succeeded at, the 501c3 application process. It gives you an air of legitimacy, and lets others know that you're serious about what you're doing, and are willing to put in the time and effort it takes.

It also says something about self sufficiency. I think it's great that there are other orgs out there, like springboard for the arts, or school factory, that are willing to handle things like accepting donations or grants. Thing is, they take a cut, a percentage. Why not get our 501c3 status, and keep all the money that people give us?

Last, there are tangible benefits. Specifically, I know Frattalone Ace Hardware has specifically said that once we get our 501c3 status, our members will be able to show a card, and have their purchases for materials used at the space be tax exempt. I for one don't want to leave 7% sitting on the table if I can avoid it. Also, other organizations, companies, and corporations or more willing to give if you're a non-profit. I can speak specifically to Barnes and Noble, and Starbucks. If you call them looking for a donation, a tax break, an event, or anything, the first question they ask is, "Are you a non profit?"

Our mission is to make, share, and learn. All the other places I can think of that do this either have, or are pursuing, non profit status. If it can help us do that, why not us?

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn Park, MN (EN35ic)
Quote:
the first question they ask is, "Are you a non profit?"


Yes, we are a nonprofit. We are registered with the State of Minnesota as a nonprofit corporation. "Nonprofit" is not the same as "501(c)3 tax-exempt."

They're usually asking because they want to deduct their contribution. We can offer that, thanks to our sponsorship through Springboard. This is right off of Springboard's website:

Quote:
All donors to your project (individual and corporation/foundation) can be issued gift acknowledgements that include tax-deductions from Springboard


Getting our own 501(c)3 status is a good goal. But there is no reason that we cannot be getting support from interested donors right now.

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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:54 pm 
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If that's the case, this needs to be publicized a hell of a lot more.

I didn't think there was any way yet to take advantage of my employers donation matching program for instance. And if we can pull off something like what Riley was talking about but through Springboard, even better.

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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:08 pm 
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
Wow, I always thought that tax exempt (501(c)3) and non profit meant the same thing.

I was very wrong, and for a very long time, too.

Is it the case that once we're 501(c)3 we can offer tax deductions for donations ourselves, rather than going through springboard, and paying them the 7% cut they currently take out of all grants and donations?

I hope so, as this is another assumption I've been operating under.

Is it for sure the case that we're registered with the state as a non-profit, rather than a not-for-profit?

Is there even a distinction between the two?

I always thought there was, but the internet seems to be telling me otherwise, and now I'm confused as well as tired.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: New maker space in town
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Non-Profit corporate status in MN means briefly that we as a corporation can not pay dividends to shareholders or profit based bonuses to staff. It is a prerequisite for being a NFP.

NOT-FOR-Profit (NFP) means (generally) that the group is a non-profit or similarly structured group that is able to take tax deductible donations, and is not required to pay taxes on certain types of purchases for corporate use.

We've been working on independent 501c3 status for quite a while. A big part of the process has been getting other prerequisite ducks in a row such as correcting our corporate documents to reflect more accurately what we do and clean them up. We've been able to accept deductible charitable donations since our initial sponsorship with Springboard for the Arts quite a while back, and I believe that has been in our brochures, and on the wiki since then.

Unfortunately it's not a simple tick box on a form we're already submitting. In brief, the process is a lengthy form to be filled out (we're mostly done with that) and then a "narrative" that discusses who we are and what we do. In perspective, Noisebridge's complete application and the supporting documents was about an inch thick.

Because we started our group without a lot of the pre-planning aiming at 501c3 status, there's a lot of things that are a bit more arduous. Note that I'm tossing around "corporate" a bit, but we exist legally as a corporation, and it's how a lot of the critical things that allow us to run (lease, insurance, bank accounts) work.


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