Our 501(c)(3) Application
Since its beginnings, the long-term objective of the Friends of Ishmael Society was to become a tax-exempt non-profit organization maintaining a small temporary or permanent staff. This staff would maintain this website, publish a newsletter, help create and support local Ishmael groups, apply for grants, organize fundraisers, handle finances, and/or network with other organizations.
To that end, we applied to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status on January 17, 2004. On July 19, 2004, the IRS notified us that we would not be granted that status because our operations focused too heavily on the works of one author. We are aware of two organizations also heavily focused on the work of one author which were granted that same status. We are attempting to understand the source of this discrepancy. However, for the time being, we are unable to offer tax-deductibility to our donors or apply for grants that are earmarked for 501(c)(3) use.
Despite the IRS' ruling, we plan to continue pursuing our goals to the fullest extent possible within our current framework. Moreover, the thorough 1023 application that we completed in order to apply for 501(c)(3) status represents the best statement to date of our organization's values, goals, past activities and planned future activities. Please note that certain aspects of the application assumed the receipt of 501(c)(3) status and may therefore not be specifically applicable currently. Nonetheless, the bulk of the vision expressed in that document remains completely viable within our current framework.