Free Sample 501C3 Applications

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Free Sample 501C3 Applications Powered By Docstoc
					~ Form 1023 - Part IV - Narrative
**Please note, items in boxes and highlights are instructions or sugge stions.
From the book, Prepare Your Own 501c3 Application by Sandy Deja (please feel free to visit the associated
website, which is The Part IV Narrative is the heart of your 501 (c) (3) application.
This is your chance to really convince the IRS agent that your organization qualifies under 501 (c) (3); it is
wort hwhile to put real time and effort into writing your narrative.

Begin the narrative with an introductory sentence or two, "Our Group was formed for charitable and
educational purposes. Specifically, we ... " Follow, if you want to, with a bit of background, and then really
work on ans wering the age old questions of Who, What, When, Where, and How. I have listed examples
below of questions that might be going through an IRS agent 's mind as he or she reviews your

A narrative that is too short may not provide the IRS agent with enough information to make his or her
decision. A narrative that is too long may lead the IRS agent to wonder why you are trying so hard. In
general, one to three pages should be enough to do the job. Rather than using more pages, sprinkle your
narrative with references to your mission statement, business plan, grant applications, website or other
supporting materials where the agent can find greater det ail. You may even find that it makes sense to
spin off some information originally written for the narrative into a separate supporting document.

You cannot include every detail about how your organization will operate. Choose details that will leave
the IRS agent feeling that he or she really understands your non -profit. Do not bother to describe routine
activities. E very non-profit has an organizational meeting, draws up governing documents and plans a
fundraising strategy. Describing these kinds of activities does not help the agent understand YOUR

Choose details that will address any concerns the IRS agent is likely to have. From reading this book, or
doing the res earch suggested in Chapt er 3, you may have come across examples of such IRS issues for
the type of organization you are forming.

(Instructions from the actual IRS Form: De scribe completely and in detail your past, pre sent and
planned activities. Do not refer to or repeat the purpose s in your organizing documents. You may
refer to other parts of the application rather than repeat info found elsewhere. For each past,
present or planned activity, include info that answers the following questions:
What is the activity?; who conducts the activity; when is it conducted?: Where?; How does the
activity further your exempt purposes?; What % of time is allocated to the activity? ; How i s the
activity funded (thi s should agree with the financial data in part IX); list any alternate names under
which you operate, including any aka or dba names.)

My sugge stion would be to do a table for each category of activity – pa st, pre sent and future, to
ensure that you get all of the required info in. If you don’t like the table concept, then write it in a
narrative. it’s a good way of organizing what you need to say. A sugge sted layout and means of
accomplishing thi s are provided below.

1. Background Information

"The Friends of the XX library is a dedicated group of community volunteers which was formed in XX t o
assist in raising funds for the XX Library. (briefly state what led to the formation of your organization, if
you know). Based in the ___(neighborhood) district of San Jose, California, our organization
_______________(give a general description of what you do). Elaborate a bit about your group’s history.
Discuss any special circumstances, as applicable.
Other items to discuss in this area: When will the organiz ation be fully operational? Who will carry on the
activities of the organization? Will these individuals be paid staff or volunteers? What are their
qualifications ? What steps will the organizatio n take to determine eligibility? How will people hear about
the program/activities (discuss marketing/newsletters,e tc.)?

2. Past, Present and Planned Activities

Activities are described in detail below. Our organization does not (or does, if that’s t he case) operate
under any alternate names.

A. Past Acti vities

(put each activity in the table, then write it out in a narrative when you’re done. Example for one
item provided below) . (Delete the table when you’re done writing out the activities)

    Type of           Who            When and            How the        % of total          How the
    Acti vity     conducts the       where the           activity           time           activity i s
                     activity         activity i s    furthers our     dedicated to         funded
                                     conducted        tax-exempt       thi s activity
                                                        purpose s
Book sale        Board             Quarterly, in     Raises funds           ___              ____
                 members and       San Jose          which go to
                 volunteers                          the XX Library

Our organization has conducted the following activities in the past:

    Book Sales: For XX years, The Friends have conducted book sales quarterly in San Jose. These
     sales are open to the general public and consist of donated books being for sale at discount prices.
     The sales are run by volunteers rec ruited by the Friends and by Friends members. These sales
     further our tax-exempt purpose in that they raise money which is then gi ven to the XX Library for
     ______(programs/equipment, etc.) Approximately ___% of our total time is dedicated to preparing for,
     conducting the sales, and post-sale activities. Usually, very little funds are required to hold the book
     sales; any necessary expenditures are covered by funds budgeted for this purpose.

    Next activity here

    Next activity here

B. Present Activitie s

(do the same thing as above –“table it,” then write it out)

Our organization is currently engaged in the following activities:
C. Planned Activities

(do the same thing as above –“table it,” then write it out)

We plan to conduct the following activities in the next ___(amount of time –however far in the future
you’ve got things planned):

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