If you are like me, you just want to get right to buying the cheap software. I’m going to life up TechSoup first though. TechSoup is a nonprofit that wants to see technology used to make the world a better place. Part of that mission is connecting donors with churches and other nonprofits so that they can afford quality software. What a gift they are giving to the world! You can get QuickBooks Online for less than 10% of the retail cost…a 90% discount! Now to the meat of this post. How do you access this cheap software:
Create an Account with TechSoup.org
This is pretty typical. You need a user name and password for yourself. You will have to confirm your email address. No surprises.
Add an Organization
Once you confirm your email address, you will have the opportunity to add your church or nonprofit. Here’s the steps:
- Type of Organization: There are four choices, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public library, church, or other. Most will choose church.
- Prove Tax-Exempt Status: This is the tricky one. Churches are not required by the IRS to apply for 501(c)(3) status. They are automatically considered a 501(c)(3). I did submit a Form 1023 and, one year later, received a letter stating my nonprofit is a 501(c)(3). The rumor is that you can call in to the IRS (1-877-829-5500) and receive a determination letter without the expense and time of submitting the Form 1023. That’s the route I would take. If you are part of a denomination, you can look up your denomination on the IRS’s website and refer to them. United Methodist churches can go to umgroupruling.org to get a letter to confirm their 501(c)(3) status. Other denominations may have a similar service.
- Ministry Details: You will need the legal name of the church/nonprofit (found on the Secretary of State website), annual budget, church website, church contact email, and church mailing address.
- Primary Activity: If you are a church, you will choose “Religious Activities” for Organization Type and then Church for the Subtype.
To guard against abuse, TechSoup will then verify that your church/nonprofit is a legit nonprofit. I’m not sure how long this takes. Hopefully only a week or two.
- Tech Soup: https://www.techsoup.org/
- Post on Proving 501(c)(3) Status: http://jctaccounting.com/2019/11/28/proving-your-church-is-a-501c3/