IRS 501 c3

If there is a film to be shot, then the grit and grime starts here. At Manager DJ Webb’s suggestion, we’re going to go ahead and apply for non-profit status. As he’s pointed out, at the time we decide to switch over to profit, we will.

The process from both what I’ve read previously, and what DJ Webb has told me (Webb has filled out a mess of these over the years), is quite intensive. In DJ Webb’s words, “Remember the Death Star wasn’t built in a day”. I’m currently printing out the government documentation (an application for IRS 501c3 status) that needs to be filled out along with it’s instruction book.

Here was DJ Webb’s timeline for us.

  • August-September 2005 —- Apply for non-profit status
  • August-September 2005 —- Form board of directors, develop bylaws
  • October 2005-February 2006 —- Flush out Script, audition for actors
  • March 2006 —- Awarded 501 c3 Status
  • March 2006 —- Request donations/funding
  • April 2006 —- Begin Filming

11 thoughts on “IRS 501 c3

  1. it’s great that you have a plan…but once you’re there, will you have a story that’s ready to be filmed?

  2. Here’s a site that can help along with some tips.

    Don’t forget, 501c3 orgs. need to have a charitable purpose and serve the public in some way. Like we were discussing before with the project in general, a 501c3 has to have an ultimate purpose.

    You need to benefit the community in some way, be it financial (through redistribution) or otherwise.

    Tips for Preparing Your Form 1023

    1. When describing your program areas and activities, make a special effort to clarify how your activities would differentiate you from a for-profit enterprise, and further your charitable purpose.
    2. As an example of the above, think tanks that expect to publish studies should explain how they will distribute such reports. Most think tanks distribute publications for free or at cost. It is important to clarify these matters, as well as question such as who own the rights to publications.
    3. There are other topics that should be carefully explained, in order to demonstrate that the principals behind your organization do not intend to benefit inappropriately from the organization’s activities. These include holding seminars (what fees will be charged, how will speakers be paid?); hosting a Web site (will content be made available to the entire public?).
    4. Carefully explain how the organization will solicit funds to show that the organization will be a publicly-supported charity, not reliant on a handful of donors.
    5. Be as specific as possible in your financial projections. If you lump together expenses under vague heading like “Miscellaneous”, you can expect a request for clarification.
    6. If you will be making grants to third parties, be clear in stating who will receive these grants and the amount and number of grants expected to be awarded annually. We also encourage you to mention that you will seek copies of relevant material produced with your monetary assistance, as well as interim reports from the grantees that could help in cutting back improper use of funds, an item about which the IRS is particularly concerned.

    Again, the best approach is to provide as much clarity as you can about your intended operations. Because the process by which the IRS reviews these applications continues to evolve, you may save time and effort by consulting with a specialist who can better help anticipate elements of your plans that will need further clarification.

  3. Sounds clawsome to me, yet quite realistic if you stick to the plan.

    The big shift I see from previous work is that scripting/casting/filming all seemed to happen within a matter of days. You’re going to have to carefully apply what you’ve learned to to this, because it’s a one big shot, not a winter break project.

    While you can take as long as it took to build the Death Star, be sure to not included any design flaws like it had (a hole wherein you can fire a torpedo and blow the whole damn thing up).

  4. Megan – 2 Stories are done already (The Boggy Boogieman and The Green Machine). It is just a matter of picking which one. That is unless we decided to go and do a feature length film as our first non-profit project. So only in the event that the first project as a non-profit was going to be a feature lenght film would the script and story probably be in progress. If that happens, then one of the shorter script would be shot at our own expense while the non-profit paper work was being sorted out. That said, now that these two shorter scripts are out of the way, I’m immediatly starting drafting up new potential ideas to develope into a feature length script.

    Dick – Word. If you are going to build a Death Star, you’ve gotta include some sort of back door so that any fool with the powers of the force can blow it up.

  5. Nice. The Boggy Boogieman and The Green Machine seem like titles for the “Horror Classics” video tapes that I’m converting to NTSC right now.

  6. Grue – That makes good sense. I’m still checking into all this stuff and additionally I’m looking into seeing what other people have done in the local area. I don’t want to go investing a bunch of time in filling out a mess of shit and then getting denied. I also want to do whatever is going to be to my best advantage at this stage in the game. Nothing is set in stone ultimately.

  7. The plan sounds impressive.

    Is there any difference between “non-profit” and “not for profit” organizations? Or is this just two different ways of saying the same thing?

    Re: Built in a day:

    The Death Star may have had special freedom in the areas of tax and funding due to it’s nature as a government funded project. The Empire may have been able to pay a couple million credits for the seat of Vader’s porcelin throne, but poor shlubs in the private sector have to make due with cheaper parts.

    Not that this has much bearing on your production though.

  8. You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be actually one thing which I think I might never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look forward in your next publish, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

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