This information can appear very daunting and the legal implications can
seem very overwhelming.
Below is a list of questions that you and your core group of supporters
should ask yourselves before undertaking the task of becoming a legal
nonprofit church. Remember that you can and will continue with your unique
spiritual work in the world whether you become a legal nonprofit
organization or not.
The question remains, should your organization join Temple of the
Goddess Association as an affiliate temple and become a legal nonprofit
While there is no definitive checklist that will produce a conclusive yes or
no answer, the following questions may give your group an indication of
which way to go.
Has your group
been growing more than you originally thought or planned?
beginning to receive more donations (either in cash or as donated items)
over time as you conduct your activity?
Would you prefer
not to report these donations as personal income?
Would you like
to receive a tax deduction for the donations your members or you
personally contribute to the nonprofit activity?
majority of your donors feel more comfortable knowing that there is an
accountability of funds?
If your personal
funding for the activity were becoming limited, would you like to be able
to solicit donations from the public?
While you or
your members may still continue to fund a major portion of the activity
with your own donations, do you think you can generate at least one third
of each year's total donations from the general public?
Are you willing
to spend some time in fundraising activities, asking people for donations?
Would you prefer
to purchase items at a discount and not have to pay sales tax? Or even
get items donated free of cost from local merchants?
Do you think the
nature of your activity would appeal to foundations or local businesses
that make grants to community service organizations?
Are you or
someone you know willing to spend time on financial and other record
Do you have a
few trusted members, friends or colleagues that might serve on a Board of
Are you willing
to give up some degree of control of your activities to that Board of
Do you have
enough committed core volunteers to help sustain the activities of your
organization as well as take on the responsibilities of becoming a legal
comfortable with the fact that as a 501(c) (3) organization, the financial
affairs of the organization are open for public scrutiny?
If most of the
answers to these questions are no, then taking the steps to acquire a
501(c)(3) either individually or under Temple of the Goddess’ Group Tax
exemption may not be right for you and your group at this time.
most of the answers are yes, then it is a strong indicator that your
organization may be ready to take the next step. Remember there are
several ways your group can do this. You can become a 501(c)(3) church or
nonprofit on your own or you can qualify for tax exempt status by acquiring
“Exemption Through a Central/Parent Organization” as discussed in this
section. This can be done either through Temple of the Goddess or
through another nonprofit entity which is the parent organization and is a
holder of a “group ruling.”