The 2014-15 and 2015-16 leadership teams of the Midway Woods Neighborhood Association voted to pursue incorporation of the association as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and the decision was ratified at the June 10 2015 general meeting of the association. Since that meeting, members of the bylaws committee and the leadership team have worked to set the stage for that incorporation.
The MWNA will host a meeting on Wed 17 Feb at 7:30 PM at the Blue Tarp Brewery to discuss incorporation and VOTE WHETHER TO INCORPORATE OR TO NOT INCORPORATE.
Research showed that the proposed corporation would NOT meet the criteria for a 501(c)(3), a status that applies to charities. The proposed association will meet the criteria for a 501(c)(4) non-profit.
The reasons for incorporation as a 501(c)(4) non profit include:
- Re-invigoration of the Association: The Midway Woods Association, Inc (MWA Inc) presents the opportunity to increase community engagement compared to the Midway Woods Neighborhood Association (MWNA, which has depended heavily on one or two key leaders during periods of activity interspersed with periods of dormancy when leadership was minimal or absent.
- Membership: MWA Inc will have criteria for membership, a process to enroll members, and a requirement to maintain a record of those members. In contrast, the MWNA has no process to enroll and maintain a record of members.
- MWA Inc will have the legal status and identity of a corporation whereas the MWNA has no legal status or identity. That legal status has several positive implications, including:
- Ownership of assets: MWA Inc will legally own assets such as bank accounts, petty cash, web domains, etc. In contrast, the MWNA, while holding moral/ethical ownership, has no legal ownership of assets.
- Protection of members and leaders: MWA Inc will shelter members and leaders from suits that may be brought by, for example, a developer whose proposal was opposed by the neighborhood. Actions taken by MWA Inc would expose only corporate asset, whereas action by MWNA could expose personal assets of members and leaders.
- Tax liabilities: Any tax liabilities on MWNA income fall to the treasurer and president. As a 501c4 non-profit, there will be no tax liabilities on MWA Inc income.
- Grants: While the opportunities are less for 501c4 non-profits, such as MWA Inc, than for 501c3 non-profits, MWA Inc will be eligible for appropriate grants. The informal MWNA has little, if any, eligibility for grant funding.
- Corporate donations: Donations to a 501c4 are NOT tax deductible. However, corporations can often legitimately claim donations to a 501c4 as a business costs. Such donations to the informal MWNA are much less likely to be legitimate tax deductions.
- Influence: As a legal entity, the MWA Inc will have greater influence than the informal MWNA with County departments, developers, and others.
President, Midway Woods Neighborhood Association
Block Captain, Midway Woods Neighborhood Watch