Mind The Bridge is not just a website or a name. It is a California non-profit corporation that is qualified as a tax exempt organization under section 501(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are also commonly referred to as “charitable organizations”.
From a tax standpoint, the primary significance of being qualified as a charitable organization is that contributions made to the organization are tax deductible to the donor in accordance with Code section 170. This is quite an attractive feature to donors, since it makes their donations tax deductible.
However, it is not so easy to become a charitable organization – and, specifically a public charity like Mind the Bridge. A public charity normally receives a substantial part of its income, directly or indirectly, from the general public or from the government. The charity must be approved by the IRS and must meet various strict requirements concerning its organization, activities and management and control.
To summarize, these requirements include the following:
- There must be an organization. An individual will not qualify.
- The organization must be operated for a specific and recognized exempt purpose. The Code only recognizes the following activities: religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, and educational purposes, to foster national or international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
- The organizing documents must not expressly empower it to engage in activities that are not in furtherance of one or more of those purposes.
- The organization's assets must be permanently dedicated to an exempt purpose. This means that if the organization dissolves, its assets must be distributed for an exempt purpose, to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose.
- Finally, none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.