The non-profit status of churches is often a concern among church leaders. It’s actually pretty difficult to lose your non-profit status, but that’s for probably a future post. Also, being a 501(c)(3) is not the same as being a non-profit organization….which is also not what this post is about. What if you had to prove your church is a 501(c)(3) in order to receive a donation or grant? That happens more and more often as donors and other organization are relying on the IRS to tell them who is a legitimate charity.
What makes it worse for churches is that the IRS AUTOMATICALLY considers all churches to be a 501(c)(3). That means that the vast majority of churches will not go through the application process…because they don’t have to…in order to have the piece of paper to prove what they automatically are. The good news for many churches that belong to a denomination is that they can quickly and easily get that piece of paper WITHOUT going through the application process. Here’s how: