[Theforum] Re: questions?

John Handelaar genghis at members.evolt.org
Tue Apr 23 08:00:27 CDT 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: theforum-admin at lists.evolt.org
> [mailto:theforum-admin at lists.evolt.org]On Behalf Of Luther, Ron
> Sent: 23 April 2002 13:43
> To: theforum at lists.evolt.org
> Subject: RE: [Theforum] Re: questions?
> Hi John,
> It could well be my ignorance ... I am not familiar with any
> "official" Non-Governmental Organizations here in the US.

Heh.  'Official' is putting it a bit strongly.  For example,
an age ago I was vice-chair of an organisation here called
the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

[OT:  You know that thing US-ians call a 'peace sign'?  It was
designed by a CND member.]

CND had >70,000 paying members and a turnover of over £2m
in 1990.  It wasn't incorporated.  It doesn't really matter
here, although:

1)  It's wise to get your accounts audited annually

2)  You really don't want to go bust because there's no
    limitation of liability and whatever group is obviously
    in charge of decision-making is held liable (/me was
    of the opinion that this was a great way to force
    responsible behaviour on the CND Council).  Limited
    liability is strictly a company thing in the UK.

3)  We didn't charge sales tax, and therefore had to pay
    all our outgoing sales tax.

The bank accounts, if they were paying interest, did not
(according to the Inland Revenue) accrue that interest to
an individual, so were not subject to personal income tax
- although UK banks, unless you ask them not to,
automatically deduct taxes on interest as part of the
calculation of that interest.


John Handelaar

T +44 20 7209 4117       M +44 7930 681789
F +44 870 169 7657   E john at userfrenzy.com

[Okay -
> until you brought it up, I had never heard of NGOs before - I had
> to look up what it stood for.  ;-)  ]  I took a quick look at
> 'NGO Networks for Health', which seems to have a Washington DC
> address - so maybe you can do this in the US.  That one appears
> to be a cooperative project between several established (and most
> likely registered) organizations.  A further search on Google
> turned up a number of NGOs that seemed to involve cooperative
> exercises between some pretty big (and I'm guessing incorporated)
> players --- I didn't see any that looked like they were started
> and run by a handful of folks as a hobby.  Can you create a
> 'hobby' NGO in Europe?
> We'd have to find someone who is more knowledgeable about NGOs in
> the US... cuz it sure ain't me!
> Let me try putting my [limited] understanding of the US viewpoint
> in another light ...
> <IANAL(or CPA) and like that there>
> If you were the treasurer for your football team here in the US
> and you had weekly dues to put money away for beer and trophies
> at the end of the season, and you put that money in a bank
> account for the team and it earned some interest.....
> .... unless that football team is an incorporated 'legal entity'
> you, the treasurer, would *personally* be responsible for any tax
> owed on the income earned on that bank account.  [We have a
> national tax on income here in the US.]
> Now - realistically it probably wouldn't amount to much ... but
> over here I'm pretty sure it would be a 'personal' rather than a
> 'organizational' liability unless the organization is a legal entity.
> </IANAL>
> Anyone else can feel free to correct me if I haven't got that
> quite right. It's been a looooooong time since I 'treasured' for
> any organization.
> RonL.
> (That NGO stuff does sound kinda cool, though.  I'm not seeing
> any "How to" links ... anybody else?)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Handelaar [mailto:genghis at members.evolt.org]
> Forgive my ignorance about US (or applicable state or
> whatever) law, but is there really no such recognisable
> thing as an unincorporated association where you are?
> Over here some surprisingly huge NGOs have never been
> incorporated.  Thought I'd be the one to fess up to
> my ignorance just in case anyone else was wondering...
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