07.10.03 501(c)3 Committee Meeting Minutes

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Here are the primary take-away points from the meeting last night


1) We have a schedule of the steps to leave the shunpike umbrella and operate as an independant 501c3 now - this will probably take ~1 year to get temporarily set up, and then another ~1-2 years to finish out with final and solid confirmation of the 501c3 status. This is normal - it is a procress we enter into with the IRS and there will be some back-and-fother discussions through that time. More on this process below.


2) Shunpike is there to help us with very specific things - they can provide advisory support for making *decisions* about which programs to invest in (but we have to drive this by comming up with options for programs to decide upon). They can also help us *implement* programs (once they have been decided upon).


3) We need to solidify our scope for programs and project to maybe a total of 5 items that we invest in. This should probably include attaining independant 501c3 as one slot. SHunpike recomended that we might want to break into smaller comittees to attend to the following goals:

  • Independnat 501c3 status - filing 1023 form, completing and submitting bylaws, following through with the IRS discussions
  • Doing what we do - identifying and implementing specific programs (e.g. the Pratt schoarship seems to be one but keep the scope small until success is achived)
  • Creating a fundraising strategy - as a 501c3 that does what we do, we will need income.


4) Someone needs to complete and submit a 'Project Plan' for Seacompression to Shunpike - this is a document that creates a papertrail of accountability (important for us, Shunpike, and the IRS). I didn't get a firm owner recorded for who will take this on but we should have a firm owner for it - it is important.


STEPS TO ACHIVE INDEPENDANT 501C3 STATUS

  • Complete and submit form 1023 to the IRS
  • When the IRS recieved form 1023 we recieve a case number and a case worker that we will work with through the end of the process.
    • at this point money comming directly to us becomes tax-exempt - as long as the following steps occur within 2 years
  • The IRS will return a formal reply to our request for 501c3 status with any questions they may have (expect discussions)
  • Once all questions have been answered it will take 1 month to one year to process the final application
  • After the application is processed, we are given _conditional_ 501c3 status for 5 years in order to complete the last step.
  • More information is filed (form 8689? 8681? Shinpike folks couldn't recall)
  • Final and permanent status if achived.


ADVICE FROM SHUNPIKE ABOUT COMPLETING THE 1023 FORM

  • Mission statement (we have this thanks to Shunpike) is the most important part.
  • Narrative sections are more important to get right than all the bullet items and checkboxes (this is a daunting 28 page form)
  • This form is the starting point, we should get it right to the best of our abilities but not sweat it too much
  • Getting our identity established is more important than the individual details
  • We should not do this as a board - subcomitteee of <6 people would be best
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