Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where are those Documents When You Need Them?

The convenor of a LifeRing meeting at a nearby hospital called in a voice filled with anxiety:  

"The facilities coordinator has kicked us out of our meeting room because we haven't filed an application to renew our room permission.  I didn't even know we had to do that!  Now they want a bunch of documents about LifeRing -- a mission statement, and a 501-c-3.  What are they?  Do we have that?"

Yes, we have that.  

We have our Mission Statement in two formats.  One is the Meeting Charter (every meeting should have one) that you can download from the website here.  That's a simple, one-page statement in a decorative format suitable for posting, should you wish to.  If that doesn't impress the facilities czar sufficiently, you can hand them a copy of the LifeRing corporate charter, downloadable from here.  That's an official State of California document with the state seal, showing that we're chartered as a nonprofit public benefit corporation.  

The "501-c-3" is a document from the federal tax people, the IRS, certifying that LifeRing is a charitable entity, so that donors who make gifts to LifeRing are entitled to deduct the gifts from their income taxes as charitable contributions.  The document comes in the form of two letters from the IRS.  The first is our initial determination letter, saying that we're classified as a charity provisionally for four years.  The second is the renewal letter, saying that our charity classification is now permanent.  You can download the first letter here, the second letter here

In case you lose this blog post with its links, you can find this set of papers again easily by going to the home page of the LifeRing website, and in the menu on the left, click "About LifeRing" (near the bottom).  On the "About" page submenu, click on "LifeRing Documents."  Bingo!  

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