WHAT IS A 501(C)(3) ORGANIZATION? The IRS gives special tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to qualifying non-profit organizations that apply for this special status. This status can be granted to “corporations, and any community chest, fund or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, educational purposes, to foster national or international amateur sports competition, promote the arts, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.”
WHY DO I NEED TO FILL OUT A NOMINATION FORM IF MY CHARITY IS NOT ON THE PRE-QUALIFIED CHARITY LIST? Many of the members will be unfamiliar with the charities that are being nominated and will only hear a short five-minute presentation before being asked to vote and commit $100 to the winning charity. While the nomination form creates a small extra step for you, it assures our members that any charity that receives an award satisfies our listed criteria, and that their donations will be tax deductible.
HOW DO I NOMINATE A CHARITY AT THE MEETING? Any member who has signed the commitment form and is a member in good standing may nominate a charity that has been vetted as explained above, and may vote at each meeting. Please note that while members are encouraged to nominate a charity, it is not a requirement for membership. Many members are happy to support the charities nominated by others without ever nominating one themselves.
When you arrive at the meeting, you will have the opportunity to put a slip of paper which contains your name and the name of your charity into the nomination box. Three different charities will be selected randomly from the box. The member whose name is on the slip will be asked to give a five-minute presentation explaining why her nominated charity should receive the award. A short Q&A will follow at the conclusion of the three presentations, and then the group will vote on which charity should receive the award. Please note that only members may present a charity or vote.
CAN A CHARITY BE NOMINATED BY MORE THAN ONE PERSON? Yes. Every member in good standing may nominate one charity at each meeting. Having more than one member nominate the same charity simply increases that charity’s chances of being picked. If more than one member nominates a charity, the person whose submission is chosen has the right to give the five-minute presentation, but that person can defer the presentation to another member who nominated the same charity.
CAN I NOMINATE THE SAME CHARITY MORE THAN ONCE? Yes, you can nominate until your charity is awarded.
CAN I NOMINATE A CHARITY IF I CANNOT ATTEND THE MEETING? Yes, but you must be available to present at the following meeting, and you must let one of the steering committee members know which charity you want to put in the box so they can do it for you by proxy. Note this means that you must let the steering committee know in advance that you won’t be attending and which charity you want to nominate for presentation at the following meeting. Following the meeting, the steering committee will let you know if your name was selected.
ONCE A CHARITY RECEIVES AN AWARD, CAN IT BE NOMINATED AGAIN? Any charity that receives an award must wait three (3) years before it can be nominated again.
ONCE A CHARITY IS PRESENTED, IF IT IS NOT CHOSEN, CAN IT BE NOMINATED AGAIN? Yes. In fact, other chapters tell us that charities that are presented but not awarded the donation often win the donation the second or third time they are presented. Persistence pays.