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Old 09-02-2008, 08:28 AM   #26
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
For some deciding to become a non-profit is oddly enough a calculated business decision. Salaries can still be paid, bonuses given, etc.

So to me it makes little difference. As long as it is above board either way it just doesn't matter to me.
I don't find this odd in the least. It is exactly what a non-profit distinction is..a business decision. And, as in all things, one should discern situations case by case, if it is of interest or concern on a moral or ideological level.

I couldn't agree more about being above board in one's intentions and practices. As a 'professional educator' in the martial dicipline, I am sometimes asked to offer my teaching and lecturing services for free to non-profits. I don't do it simply because of that status, it isn't enough justification for free teaching in seminars where people are being charged good money and that money is not specifically earmarked for a cause beyond the perpetuation of the organization itself.

That is my rough line for now.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 09-02-2008 at 08:36 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:02 AM   #27
Keith Larman
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

Yeah, I didn't word that all that well. Basically my point was two things. One is the common misconception of a non-profit is that it is somehow channeling all of its resources into some "good thing". Basically a charity, church, etc. The other is the misconception that the employees do what they for very little. Neither is necessarily true.

And I'm certainly not saying it is a bad thing either in many cases.

Anyway, the point being that being a non-profit tends to carry a "gloss" of nobility along with it that doesn't necessarily really reflect reality.

The other side of the coin is that non-profits still have to pay all the various payroll taxes. And since in my experience many aikido dojo that I know of that don't have non-profit status are often pretty close to making no profit as it is, well, it doesn't seem to me it makes much difference if they're for profit or non-profit. The end result is the same. Just different paperwork.

My $.02.

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Old 09-02-2008, 10:48 AM   #28
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

I thought you did a great job.
Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:10 PM   #29
Walter Martindale
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

FWIW
Fred Little's precis of not-for-profit characteristics is good.
I've been employed by "not for profit" organisations almost continuously since 1991. Present employer has about 10 full time staff, several other part time and fixed term contract staff, is funded largely from government grants, "charitable trust" grants, and commercial sponsors.
Most Aikido dojo I've been at were definitely not-for-profit, where sensei do the teaching so that they'll have people with whom to practice in their home towns when they grow up and disperse from their original dojo or when they inherit the dojo from the previous sensei, whether that's through retirement, succession through the sensei passing away, or whatever - fees at these dojos barely cover operating costs, and they're housed in community centres, churches, private homes, but rarely in rent-paying or free-hold properties.
W
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:13 AM   #30
Mato-san
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

This thread should be placed in the Aikido will leave you in debt for ever negative section.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:56 PM   #31
Dan O'Day
 
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

Does anyone know whether all non-profits, like churches, get a free ride on property taxes?

Property taxes can be a big chunk of change. And the revenue collected covers a fair number of local and important services.

Those who don't pay property tax, regardless of whatever good works they may be doing, are definitely getting full subsidies paid for by the rest of the folks in a given locale.

That's never seemed right to me. Seeing as I could just start a Church of the Retired Deadhead and save $6,000.00 a year. Pull in some tax free big cash over the web and/or a cable channel. Mass up the dough and form a political action lobbying group and get some legislation written that favors the doctrine of the Gospels of the Retired Deadheads and by golly...oh well, no way...that could never happen in America.

In general, whther or not a dojo is a 501C makes no difference to me ( except for the property tax deal - I think all property owners ought pay it period ). As has been said here many times, nobody makes alot of money through aikido training.

Interesting how entities which begin with a clear and focused message and then struggle financially tend to keep their focus and message very clear. Start throwing the big bucks in and it won't be long before purpose becomes a murky vision.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:06 PM   #32
Fred Little
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Re: Non-Profit Dojo?

Quote:
Dan O'Day wrote: View Post
Does anyone know whether all non-profits, like churches, get a free ride on property taxes?

. Seeing as I could just start a Church of the Retired Deadhead and save $6,000.00 a year.
Minneapolis has fairly liberal laws in this regard, and the answer according to the city's website is:

Probably not, unless you are an exceptionally motivated and detail-oriented Retired Deadhead with uncommon persistence:

Quote:
What is, and how do I apply for, a non-profit or 501(c)(3) property tax exemption?

Organizations seeking 501(c)(3) exemption must file an exempt application for each parcel that may qualify. In order to receive exempt status, there must be a concurrence of ownership and use. The parcel must be used solely for the specified purpose for which the institution received its 501(c)(3) charter. This means that if the land, its improvements, or any part thereof is not used in accordance with stated purposes, the exemption will be reviewed and the ineligible property or portion of the property will be assessed for property taxation purposes. In accordance with Minnesota statutes, "Upon written request of the assessor, the taxpayer filing a statement of exemption shall make available to the assessor all books and records relating to the ownership or use of the property which are reasonably necessary to verify that the property qualifies for exemption."
501(c)(3) Applicant must provide proof to establish the following:

* Ownership - Deed and date (property owned prior to July 1 may qualify for exemption in the current assessment year)
* Use - Descriptions: pamphlets, brochures, letter explaining the function of the entity and how the property is being used
* 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code - Federal Certification of Non-Profit or Exempt Status from Federal Income Taxes
* Articles of Incorporation - Eventuality of Corporate Dissolution
* Synopsis of Organizational Function - Mission Statement and Organizational Purpose; Who are your clients?
* Minnesota Form 990 Income Tax Return - Who pays for the services provided by the organization?
* Occupants - Tenant lists, rent roles, outlining square footage, etc…
* Property Tax Application -- a document completed by applicant and submitted with supporting documentation for exemption.
Emphasis added.

Best,

FL
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