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Charity Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 501(c)(3) organization?

  • The IRS gives special tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to qualifying non-profit organizations that apply for this special status. This status can be granted to “corporations, and any community chest, fund or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, educational purposes, to foster national or international amateur sports competition, promote the arts, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.”

Why do I need to fill out a nomination form for my charity?

  • Many of the members will be unfamiliar with the charities that are being nominated and will only hear a short five minute presentation before being asked to vote and commit $100 to the winning charity. While the nomination form creates a small extra step for you, it ensures our members that any charity that receives an award satisfies our listed criteria, and that their donations will be tax deductible.

How do I nominate a charity at the meeting?

  • Any member who has signed the commitment form and is a member in good standing can nominate a charity that has been vetted as explained above, and can vote at each meeting. Please note that while members are encouraged to nominate a charity, it is not a requirement for membership. Many members are happy to support the charities nominated by others without ever nominating one themselves.

  • When you arrive at the meeting, you will have the opportunity to put a slip of paper that contains your name and the name of your charity into the nomination box. Three different charities will be selected randomly from the box. The member whose name is on the slip will be asked to give a five minute presentation explaining why the nominated charity should receive the award. A short Q&A will follow at the conclusion of the three presentations, and then the group will vote on which charity should receive the award. Please note that only members can present a charity.

What do I have to say in my presentation?

  • If you're considering nominating a charity, here are some suggested Presentation Guidelines to help you craft your presentation.

Can a charity be nominated by more than one person?

  • Yes. Every member in good standing can nominate one charity at each meeting. If more than one of the selected members are presenting the same charity, other names will be drawn until three different charities can be presented. 

Can I nominate the same charity more than once?

  • Yes. There is no limit to the number of times you can nominate the same charity.

Can I nominate a charity if I cannot attend the meeting?

  • No. You must be present to nominate a charity.

Once a charity receives an award, can it be nominated again?

  • Any charity that receives an award can be nominated again at the next meeting.

Once a charity is presented, if it is not chosen, can it be nominated again?

  • Yes. In fact, we believe that charities that are presented but not awarded the donation may win the donation the second or third time they are presented. Persistence pays.

What happens to the names of the nominated charities that are not picked out of the box?

  • At the end of each meeting, the nomination box is emptied, so each meeting has a brand new set of nominations.
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