Non Profit Status And 501(c)(3) Status


Note: Please consult with your own legal counsul before acting on any of the information that follows. This should only be a preliminary guide to creating a non-profit / 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Most if not all JETAA chapters are non-profits however the choice is between being a regular non-profit or 1 of 2 varieties of 501c (501c3 and 501c7), however for the purposes of JETAA chapters the 501(c)(3) form is typically the most appropriate. There are a number of resources available on the internet focusing both on establishing a regular non-profit and on establishing a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Currently only JETAA New York and JETAA Northern California are the only chapters to have gone through the process to become a 501(c)(3).


The first step that chapters take is incorporating in your state as a non-profit corporation. As noted above, please refer to legal counsel for advice on incorporating as a non-profit.

The key advantages to doing these two steps are:

  • Non-profits are tax-exempt, i.e. they do not have to pay taxes on any money that they receive to carry out the goals of the organization.
  • Incorporating shelters the officers and other members from any legal liability that might arise from any events JETAA plans.


Some JETAA chapters have taken the next step and have gone through the process to become 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The primary advantage here is that they are able to solict tax deductable donations. There are several important restrictions that are placed on 501(c)(3) organizations in return for the right to solicit these donations. Please refer to the following file for a brief presentation on the advantages and disadvantages of being a 501(c)(3). JETAA 501c3 - JETAANY.ppt Typically if your organization has less than $5,000 per year in receipts (cash in) for a 3 year period, so $15,000 for any 3 years, you do not need to officially file for 501(c)(3) status. However if your chapter goes above this amount (say for example you have a large GIA, or you host the national conference, etc.) you will need to file for 501(c)(3) status for that fiscal year. For more information on the non-profit process please refer to the following page on the IRS website which details the life-cycle of both public charities and private foundations that are classified as 501(c)(3) organizations:,,id=136459,00.html

Note: As of 2008, 501(c)(3) non-profits such as JETAA chapters with under $25,000 of income are required to file tax forms (an e-postcard, form 990-N) with the IRS. Please refer to the Taxes section for more information.


The IRS has an extensive site about non-profits at:

Foundation Center has information on wide range of topics of interest to non-profits including applying for grants, as well as a collection links to other information sources at:

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