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501c(3) did not show up on GuideStar

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  • 501c(3) did not show up on GuideStar

    I tried to look up a horse related group that advertises itself as a 501c(3). They claim to have gotten their status in 2011. Is there any reason why they would be a real 501c(3) but not show up in the GuideStar search?
    Last edited by Stacie; Jan. 25, 2013, 09:18 PM.
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

  • #2
    Searched the Guidestar FAQ and found this:

    Why can't I find a particular organization on GuideStar?

    There are several reasons an organization may not appear on GuideStar:

    It is not registered with the IRS as an exempt organization.
    It is registered with the IRS under a different name. This name may not be the more commonly used name. For instance, FACES is the trade name of Family and Community Education & Support, Inc. Try putting the more common name in the keyword field rather than the name filed.
    It is considered a religious entity and is not required to file with the IRS for tax-exempt status.
    It is a program for a larger organization and does not have its own listing.
    It is no longer recognized as an exempt organization, having lost its exemption or gone out of business.
    It is a new organization whose listing has not been entered in the database yet.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


    • Original Poster

      What is considered new?
      "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

      "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


      • #4
        I don't know...but I know I saw another website when researching 501c3 990s that said sometimes they take 12-18 months to show up...might be the same amount of time.

        If you want to be definitely sure, you could probably contact the IRS and ask point blank about their status or ask to the see the organization's financial information. A 501c3 is legally required to provide that.
        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


        • #5
          Have you checked their website? Some places will post their financials. But yeah, if they were organized in 2012 the 990 may not be due yet, or they may have gotten a filing extension.
          Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


          • Original Poster

            I just realized it was 2011.
            "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

            "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


            • #7
              Originally posted by Stacie View Post
              I tried to look up a horse related group that advertises itself as a 501c(3). They claim to have gotten their status in 2011. Is there any reason why they would be a real 501c(3) but not show up in the GuideStar search?
              It used to be easy as the IRS used to publish Schedule 78 list of 'charities' and you could search by name or location etc.

              Use this page : http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-P...-for-Charities

              and you can actually call the IRS at a toll free number listed.

              Unfortunately some CLAIM to be 501(c)3 and are not. Some never properly execute the paperwork. Amazingly some have operated under the IRS radar for YEARS!! Upon filing, they do get a letter from the IRS and you can ask for a copy.


              • #8
                contact them about making a donation and ask them to give you their W9 form and any other required documents


                • #9
                  Have you contacted this horse related group and asked to receive copies of their tax exempt status credentials?

                  If their answer is anything short of copies of the paperwork appearing in your mailbox or e-mail inbox, well, there you go.

                  They can redact anything that has potential for abuse such as Tax ID number and the like.


                  • #10
                    Guidestar registration is not mandatory, so it is possible they are a legit c3 and not on GS, but they will be registered with the IRS. Ask for their EIN (tax id number). Grantr.com is another site to try, it has less information than Guidestar but I believe they download directly from the IRS so it is more current and does not rely on the non profit to create a profile.

                    The EIN is the best way to look them up.


                    • #11
                      That's right. Charities are not required to list themselves with any watchdog or ratings group. Because they are not listed yet doesn't imply anything negative.

                      If they were founded late in 2011, they may not have had any reportable income/activity until 2012 -- and those tax returns would not be filed yet, and therefore would not yet be on their database.
                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                      • Original Poster

                        I read that a 501 that receives less than $25,000 is also not required to file a 990. Filing a 990 is one way they show up on guidestar.
                        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                        • #13
                          Well, is this organization one that you would suspect would get more than that per year? Is it one that you suspect is claiming to be a 501 without actually registering with the IRS?

                          Quickest way to find out would be to ask the organization, or contact the IRS.
                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                          • #14
                            501c3's, once deemed so by the IRS, are tax exempt. 501c4's are also non profits, but are not tax exempt.

                            I work with non-profits that are "charities" (501c3's) and also non-profits that are "lobbying -- issue advocacy groups", classified as 501c4's.

                            The IRS and most government entities can be VERY slow, slow, slow...and often it can take more than a year to get their "approval" letter.

                            That said, if the group is incorporated with their State Corporation Commission as a 501c3, it doesn't mean they have to hold back doing their "good". What it does mean they cannot guarantee whether a donation is tax deductible to the donor for tax purposes until the IRS deems they can, or get other tax breaks that come to non-profits.

                            The beaucratic hoops they have to jump to get federal gov't approval are taking an uber long time.

                            Not unusual at all. Additionally, getting this approval from the IRS has more to do with whether they can use non-profit postal rates for their fundraising to reduce their outgoing costs to reach people about their mission than anything else. Most nonprofits need to keep their costs low, but until they get that IRS "ruling", they can't.

                            Most orgs I know that in the "start up" phase don't realize how long it takes to be "approved" by the goverment...thus the suspicion about the motives of the group until then.
                            Last edited by sid; Jan. 26, 2013, 06:29 PM.
                            www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                            "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                            Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube