This is a transcript for a live video which was posted to our facebook page on Sunday.
Hi, everybody, it’s Kelsey Hazzard, the President of Secular Pro-Life, and as you can tell by the title of this video, I’m not going to make it a big surprise or anything, we’ve applied for 501(c)3 status and I just wanted to talk a little bit about the history and why it is that we’re doing it so you can be fully informed.
Secular Pro-Life was actually, we’ve been around for almost ten years now. We got started in January of 2009, so we are coming up on our 10 year anniversary. And this whole time we have not had any special tax status with the IRS. We have been incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the state of Florida, which is where I live, and obviously that comes with responsibilities to manage your donations wisely. But we haven’t gone that next step of getting the 501(c)3 status.
The main reason for that was that we’ve traditionally relied on donors who are gonna give no matter what, who are just so invested in our mission, and a lot of our donors are young adults who are kind of just getting started in life and take the standard deduction. So offering that tax deductibility for your donations didn’t really matter to most of our donors.
But as we’ve gotten bigger and as we’ve developed as an organization, we started considering the 501(c)3 tax status and we put up a poll on facebook a while ago asking you all, would it make a difference if we were a 501(c)3? And about half of you said yes. And in the comments, the feedback that we got for that was, a lot of you said it wasn’t so much about the tax deduction as it was about the status itself and the legitimacy that brings and the transparency you get with the annual form and that kind of thing, for the financials. And again, just to be clear, we have had that legal responsibility from the beginning to use your donations wisely and we’ve obviously abided by that, but people wanted that additional transparency and thought that that would be valuable, and we agree.
So we have gone ahead and submitted our application for 501(c)3 status! And we should hear back, the IRS says it’s on average 90 days, so we hope to hear back soon. In the meantime, the way it works is that once the status is conferred, it’s retroactive. So if you were to make a donation today, and then we get the tax-deductible status, your earlier donation would become tax-deductible. So that’s how that operates, and yeah, we should hear back pretty soon. I don’t expect any… obviously there are no guarantees but I don’t expect any issues with our application. It’s a pretty straightforward process.
I really want to thank you guys for your support, and if you do feel it in your heart to make a donation, you can do that on our website; it’s just secularprolife.org/donate. And again, thank you all so very much and we look forward to continuing to our cause in the future. Bye!