Amazon Pueblo is now officially a 501(c)(3) federally tax-exempt nonprofit. My mom received our determination letter in the mail this week, dropped it off to Julie (our secretary), who scanned and emailed it to me in the Amazon. Thanks mom and Julie!
I expect the designation to do a number of things for us:
1. People who give donation can now deduct them on their federal tax return.
2. Certain expenses that we personally spend to complete our mission may also be deductible. Travel to the Amazon as a director is one thing that would be covered, providing certain condition are met (which, if I remember correctly, are not unreasonable).
3. We are eligible for discount specialized nonprofit accounting software and other programs.
4. We are eligible to sign up with other nonprofit organizations which offer free services (like accounting audits, website design, marketing, and management consultation). I believe that work-at-home volunteers may also be identified to help us with other things.
5. We are eligible to receive grants from the government, other nonprofits, and foundations.
6. We are eligible to receive discounts to grant support services and databases.
The only downside is that we need to find the time to access and use all of these benefits. And if we do get a grant, that will come with another increase in work load.
This week I also received news that our grant to finish the dock and pier was approved. The government is also interested in working with us in the future, if everything with the dock goes well. This offers us a big opportunity, not just in the form of extra funds, but in the areas of legitimacy, better access to information, and help with the project’s goals.
I expect to meet with the governor next week to sign the documents which will permit us to work together. Registering as the Colombian-based Fundación Amazon Pueblo was instrumental in achieving this connection. I will take and post a picture of the signing when it happens!