Why are some guilds 501(c)3 and others aren't?
Even though most - if not all - quilt guilds participate in community service, making and donating quilts and other items to other non-profit organizations in their areas, some are designated by the IRS as 501(c)3 and others aren't.
One of our member guilds recently applied for 501(c)3 status and was turned down. Their application emphasized that the two major items the guild focused on were education and community service, both of which are exempt activities. Aside from a small amount for administrative overhead - like meeting place rent, storage, newsletter, website - nearly all the money the guild raised went to their exempt activities.
Although we don't believe the law has changed, it appears that the IRS is interpreting - and implementing - it more stringently than they had in the past. They were told that because the guild offered activities to its members, such as camp, block exchanges, fabric exchanges, challenges, etc., it was not formed solely for charitable purposes but also benefited its members. They were determined to be a 501(c)4 organization (tax exempt, and performing social welfare functions), and decided they could not expect to win an appeal of that determination.
The IRS representative who was queried about the difference in the way guilds have been treated opined that the ones currently designated (c)3 are essentially "grandfathered in"; if they were to apply now they would not get the same designation and were they ever to lose their status and have to re-apply, they would not get it. It's hard to say, though, if that is universally applied.
The primary difference between (c)3 and (c)4 are that donations to 501(c)3 organizations are tax-deductible to the donor but donations to 501(c)4 organizations are not. Guilds receive a lot of donations (often fabric) and those who are not (c)3 need to be sure the donees know their donations are not tax-deductible.
How much are NCQC dues?
Dues are $25 for one year or $40 for two. This applies whether you are a guild, teacher, quilt shop, vendor, long-arm quilter, judge, or show organizer. If you are more than one (such as teacher and judge) you need only pay one set of dues. If you belong to a member guild you may come to any NCQC meeting and do not need to be an "individual" member.
Dues apply to a calendar year and are not pro-rated.
To find the appropriate form to join or renew your membership, click on the Membership tab (not a drop-down) and you will find the "guild membership form" or the "non-guild membership form." They should be self-explanatory.
We are often asked about copyright rules and requirements as they relate to quilts and quilt patterns. Here is a great compilation of copyright information and issues in the quilting world from a variety of sources generated by the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds (SCCQG).