Applying for 501(c)(3) Status

501(c)(3) is a portion of the federal tax code that details how nonprofit organizations can qualify to be exempt from paying federal tax. By qualifying for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service, in certain cases your club will be able to claim tax deductions on contributions such as membership dues, scholarship funds and some other forms of contributions. This will also allow your club to apply for a bulk-mailing permit, which will qualify you for reduced mailing rates.

Although 501(c)(3) is a portion of the federal tax code, there are also considerations that vary state by state. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” advice that the AYA can pass along to Yale Clubs seeking 501(c)(3) status, and it’s important to consult a lawyer in your state before filing an application in order to make sure all the requirements are being met. However, if your application is done correctly, 501(c)(3) status should also automatically exempt your Yale Club from state income taxes.

Typically, a Yale Club seeking 501(c)(3) status will ask one of its members in the legal profession to prepare its application, perhaps on a volunteer basis.

To learn more:

  • good introduction from the Foundation Group: “What is a 501(c)(3)?”
  • Tax information from the IRS website for charitable organizations. This page includes links to obtain application forms.