We have great news to share with our members, associates, and friends, and just in time for the holidays! Since last February the Board of Directors has been working on the reorganization of DS in order to become a tax-exempt non-profit organization. After extensive work on the Mission Statement and Bylaws, we sought out legal support from Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts in St. Louis. VLAA assigned to us a pro-bono lawyer who revised the Bylaws to make them legally sound. The new Bylaws were approved by the membership at the annual meeting at Harvard’s Houghton Library on 23 September 2016. Since then we have filed Articles of Incorporation as a non-profit organization, and these have been certified by the State of Missouri.
Not all non-profits are tax exempt, so after we officially became a non-profit, we still needed to seek tax-exempt status with the IRS. Tax exempt status is only granted to organizations dedicated to altruistic purposes defined by statutory categories: 1) religious, 2) scientific, 3) charitable, 4) public safety, 5) literary, 6) educational, 7) sports, 8) protection of children or animals. Like most museum and libraries, DS falls under the exemption for organizations with an educational purpose. So after filing the 1023-EZ form with the IRS, on12 Dec 2016 we received the letter granting us tax-exempt status under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Many thanks to the VLAA, the DS Board, the Advisory Council, and the growing DS membership!