Minutes:501com Minutes 2010-10-22

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Date: Friday 2010-10-22
Time: 7pm
Location: 1481 Wordsworth St, Ferndale, MI 48220
Attendees: Ross Smith, Ryan Kather, Cherish Lallone, Ashley Prescott, Dennay Bedard, Aaron Dubin, Trevor Cook, Nate Bezanson, Ed Platt

Current status of the group (Ed)

  1. Incorporated as Michigan non-profit corporation
    1. No tax exemption benefit
    2. Some 501c3 rules are written into our articles of incorporation and bylaws

Report on IRS 501c3 seminar (Ashley)

  1. Received IRS guide for non-profits
  2. Have to serve certain purposes (educational and scientific)
  3. Have to be public facing
    1. should track and report public events
    2. add public events to agenda of meetings
      1. recommendation: track open hours and guests
      2. may be beneficial to do an events newsletter
  4. List of absolute restrictions
    1. political lobbying has to be insubstantial
    2. no income can inure to the benefit of a private individual
      1. scholarships have to be handled fairly
  5. good feedback from presenter as far as hackerspace as 501c3
  6. not all activities are tax exempt
    1. no paid staff -> all income is tax exempt
    2. organization shouldn't engage in unrelated business
      1. individuals shouldn't do business in the name of i3
  7. ownership of tools
    1. all assets must go to 501c3s if i3 is dissolved
    2. equipment loans must be documented
  8. gaming is too complicated, should avoid
  9. should we find a way to encourage people to participate in charitable activities?
  10. we will still have to file an annual information return
    1. narrative report on activities

Members may or may not be "the public" (Ed)

  1. consider ymca style membership
    1. benefits "members" only
    2. "members" are not members of the corporation (no vote for directors)
    3. dues for non-corporate members are more likely to count as public support
    4. non-corporate members have less formal requirements for meetings
    5. ymca offers sliding scales and scholarships, similar policy may help us
  2. taxpayer advocate or seminar presenter may be able to answer questions

Next steps

  • Scan irs pub - Ashley
  • Review noisebridge app - Ross, Ashley
  • Review information return, form 990 - Cherish
  • Review form 1023 book - Ryan
  • Find possible nonprofit CPAs - Ashley