I said I would pepper this year’s blog with occasional tidbits about what it’s like trying to start a non-profit. Don’t worry . . . plenty of excellent Great Plains information is forthcoming, but for now, let’s talk about IRS Form 1023. It’s the form you must file in order to apply for a tax-exempt 501c3 status – essentially so people can donate to your organization and write it off as a deduction on their taxes.
It’s a beast. 39 pages long and packed with a brambly entanglement of terms and traps. The thing is, I only lasted about 3 minutes (basically I filled in my name and address) before falling headlong into the very first trap (insert sad, 1970s pinball “Game Over” sound here). It’s not really “Game Over,” but I will need to insert another quarter and try again.
What happened? The problem is with my “Organizing Document,” which is the Articles of Incorporation I filed with the State of Colorado. Colorado did not need to see a statement of the organization’s purpose, but the IRS did. The problem is that the IRS requires it to be on the state’s application, not theirs. I am going to have to go back and file an amendment to my Articles of Incorporation, just hours into its official existence. What?
If that made no sense to you, welcome to my world.