[theforum] Google checkout

Jeremy Weiss eccentric.one at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 22:32:18 CDT 2008

Sorry for the late reply on this, I've been in bed the last few days due to illness.

The list that David provided sort of surprised me. I kind of grew up in the non-profit arena. My mom was a consultant to non-profits. She helped people start organizations, did board trainings, grant writing, etc. As a result, several of my earlier jobs were with non-profits. Anyway, I forget how much of a hassle it is to those who aren't used to it. David's list helped remind me. :)  And he is right, it does cost money ($300/$750 depending on how much money you expect to raise) to form, you do have to have a board of directors and an annual board meeting, and annual tax returns. And while a lawyer isn't always needed, an accountant usually is (if you value your sanity). When looking at the current state of Evolt, I'd have to agree with David that it would be a lot more work for only minimal gain.

The primary reason I suggested it, however, was because the 501(c)3 is a 'magical' type of organization. All the money donated to a 510(c)3 is tax deductable. I know we exist beyond the borders of the USA, but for those of us here, that's a huge advantage. I just figured it might help with corporate contributions. But then, really, what would we do with the money if we got it? Seems that once the hosting is paid for there's not much else in the way of expenses anyway (no salaries and such like many organizations).


David Kaufman wrote:
Actually it's just because to become a 501(c)(3) you have to:

1. incorporate, which
   a. costs money, comes with legal and financial rules
   b. normally requires a lawyer, which costs more money
   c. having a formal charitable charter (mission statement)
   d. having a board of directors and regular meetings,
      (with minutes, which must be submitted!)

2. apply for charity status with the IRS

3. wait months, hope to be granted

4. if denied as is normal, re-apply/appear the decision

5. go to step 3, wash rinse and repeat

Setting aside the fact that we have no formal board or directors, charter 
or meetings... even if we succeeded in attaining 501(c)(3) status, we would 
then be required to a number of file income tax returns every year, and 
jump through cretin other legal hoops to maintain that status.  I'm told 
its best to hire both a lawyer and an accountant.  Which is money we don't 

As it is, we're not required to file as long as we have under $25,000 a 
year in revenue, which suits me just fine.  Being responsible for 
maintaining the checking account, collecting the Google Adsense revenue, 
and turning around and paying it out to for hosting expenses is really 
about as much financial responsibility Elfur and I, as co-treasurers, are 
prepared to accept.

Anyway, while the donations we receive are very much appreciated, they tend 
to be small, few and far between, at least for the last several years that 
I've been counting the beans.  The google ads on beo are a much more 
significant (and reliable) income stream.  So becoming a legal charity 
would be a lot of work for (IMHO) little gain.


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