ASCAP and BMI for a 501c

Discussion in 'The Community Band' started by Gandalfe, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    As I mentioned in another thread, I've been working with a number of organizations to legitimize the libraries. Where we don't have originals, we have either bought originals or religated the unplayable stuff to file.

    One of the tricks that I learned was that for a little money a community band could join the Association of Concert Bands which would give the organization a blanket ASCAP/BMI license. There is no longer a reason to fly under the radar here, especially if you have an active band board with officiers.

    I also recommend making any community band a 501c (think charity for our international readers) organization to help with taxes, donations, and the like.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
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  2. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Being organized rarely hurts. Organized not necessarily in the union sense, but supporting each other in lobbying, or with legal matters can very beneficial in the long run.
    (Here, most wind bands are members of windband.ch (suprising name, innit))
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I've found it difficult to get a 501c. If you have any info, that'd be great to put it here.
     
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    One of our bandies is a lawyer and the band was incorporated before I got there. But this would be a good topic to research.
     
  5. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I joined a big band last year that is a 501c3, and was recently elected treasurer. I'll dig in my files to see how they did it. Off the top of my head, they did a number of things that helped.

    1. Partnered with the local school district for rehearsal space, and agreed to play gratis for a couple school / community functions per year.
    2. Got start up donations from the local municipal government and some area businesses.
    3. Set up regular (paying) gigs at local senior centers and retirement homes.

    The relevant application form (in the US) is IRS Form 1023. It is not a trivial form - 26 pages of bureaucratic gobbledygook. There are also state filing requirements and fees. You must have corporate bylaws that are written to include specific language about the charitable intent. Overall, a boatload of paperwork.
     
  6. AltoRuth

    AltoRuth

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    Gandalfe,

    Thanks for this sticky----very helpful!

    Ruth
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    My fun was:

    1. Call lawyer. He said talk to a CPA.
    2. Talked to CPA. He said talk to a specific kind of lawyer.
    3. Talked to specific kind of lawyer. Said he didn't handle that and didn't know who did.

    Mmmmm. Great.

    4. Spoke with a friend who used to be a lawyer. He said he had no idea who'd handle them, but 501's are VERY difficult because you have to meet lots and lots of requirements.

    LLCs are relatively easy. It doesn't mean that you're tax exempt, tho.
     
  8. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Pete suggested I track my progress towards creating a 501(c)(3) as in non-profit organization for the various bands I own such as the MJB, Dissonance, and Professor Gadget Sax Quartet.

    After talking to a lawyer I may only need a state-level recognition and registration. If I want IRS recognition, I'd need to apply there after I have the state approved org in place. If I plan on fund raising activities, I will need to apply to my state for further approval. At this time I do not expect to be doing fund raising activities.

    The paperwork for my adult music education organization, the Dissonance, starts here for those in Washington State.
     
  9. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Clarification, the paperwork I submitted is for a state sanctioned non profit organization. The 501c3 is a federal classification that will take a lot more paperwork once I receive the state approval. Apparently, and this from a lawyer friend who is doing the paperwork pro bono for another community band, there are 80 pages of instructions to wade through.
     
  10. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Did you go through this process or are you thinking about doing it?
     
  12. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I didn't do it myself, but per post #5 above, I have all the paperwork. It took well over a year and several iterations to get approval. I don't know if we used an attorney or not, but could find out.
     
  13. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I was checkin' on what the income limit was to allow the use of the US tax postcard. Ah sweet relief, it's $25K or less now, up from $20 from a few years ago.

    "Small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less may be required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-EZ."

    Read more at http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=169250,00.html

    Wish they'd use this for the poor in the US.
     

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