We’re very humbled by and grateful for the dozens of Facebook followers and website views we’ve received over the last 24 hours. Thank you to all who are helping to spread the word!
We just want to share a few words about the journey of starting a non-profit. In the words of one of our co-founders, “it’s like starting a small business.” Things we’ve toiled over so far include setting up the corporation, recruiting a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers for our board, branding (logo, mission, vision, etc.), building a website and donor database, and creating a strategic plan for the next 12-18 months.
For those of you not familiar, the 501(c)(3) designation means that the IRS has recognized your organization as a nonprofit, tax exempt organization. Most of the charities that you could name off the top of your head would fall into this category, including many churches and schools. To protect donors, the IRS doesn’t make it easy to obtain the 501(c)(3) designation. Although there is a quick application (think the equivalent of a 1040 EZ form), we have chosen to complete the long form, as it provides more information to donors, adds to our transparency, and hopefully increases our chances of approval.
As of this post, we are working with professionals and gathering the final documentation needed to submit the application for The Mario Foundation’s 501(c)(3) status. Once submitted, the application could take a few months to process before it is approved. Once approved, we will file to register as a non-profit in the state of Alabama. We will not be actively soliciting monetary donations until these two milestones are accomplished.
We have already received several donations, and it is our understanding that these donations will be tax-deductible as long we receive our 501(c)(3) designation in the year that the donations were made. We are taking the application process very seriously, so we don’t anticipate any major hiccups. We will continue to share updates on our status as well as our overall journey.
Thank you again for your interest in the work of the foundation.