Your Chapter’s Non-Profit Status
All of our chapters are operated as 501(C)(3) public charities. This means that each chapter guarantees to the public that it will use its money only for non-profit purposes and that it will follow the rules put forth by the International MOMS Club and, for U.S. chapters, the IRS.
By law, a chapter may not raise money for its members or its members’ children, and it may not donate any money to a political candidate or cause. If you have any questions about this, read your chapter’s manual and contact your chapter’s coordinator.
There may be times when your chapter may have to prove to someone that you are a non-profit organization. Banks may need this information before you can open an account, and businesses may request this information before offering you a lower rate or special donation.
Here is what you need to prove you are a non-profit organization in the United States:
- Your EIN (Employer Identification Number) letter from the IRS. Each U.S. chapter receives their EIN letter directly from the IRS. Instructions for applying for an EIN were either mailed to you last year (for older chapters) or were in the introductory packet in the front pocket of your manual (for newer chapters). If you are an older chapter and have an EIN letter that was originally sent to the International MOMS Club, rather than to your chapter specifically, throw that letter away, as no chapter may use the International MOMS Club EIN any longer. Instead, each chapter must have its own, unique EIN for its chapter alone, and must have a letter from the IRS assigning them that number! If your chapter does not have an EIN of its own, contact your Coordinator for help getting an EIN now.
- Your authorization letter from the International MOMS Club. This letter shows that the International MOMS Club recognizes your chapter as one of our local chapters. The original authorization letter from the International MOMS Club for your chapter should also be in the introductory packet in the front pocket of your chapter manual. This letter is for your chapter’s founder and first board. When that board’s term ends, it should write an authorization letter on your chapter’s letterhead, acknowledging the new officers of your chapter. Each subsequent board should write a similar letter for the board that follows them. Those letters should be sufficient for changing the authorized signers on your bank account or for any other account. If, for any reason, an older, on-going chapter needs a letter re-confirming their registration as a MOMS Club chapter, please contact your Coordinator.
- A copy of the group exemption letter for the International MOMS Club. A copy of our group exemption letter is provided here. You need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to download this copy. If you have any problems downloading this letter, contact your Coordinator. Each year, the International MOMS Club provides the IRS with a list of authorized, registered local chapters. Only chapters on that International MOMS Club list may use our group exemption letter to substantiate their non-profit status. Use of this letter by any other organizations or groups is illegal.
- Some people may ask to see your chapter’s charter, bylaws or articles. They are asking to see your chapter’s “organizing document” and operating rules. All of our chapters are governed by the Local Chapter Bylaws — that is your organizing document AND your operating rules. A copy of these Bylaws is in your chapter manual. Your chapter does not have a charter or articles – if someone asks for those, give them your Bylaws and explain to them that those Bylaws are your chapter’s organizing document and operating rules.
If you have any questions about any of these documents or about being a non-profit organization, please contact your chapter’s Coordinator. If you are not sure who your chapter’s Coordinator is, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Who is our Coordinator?” in the subject line, and be sure to put in the body of the email your full name, your position with the chapter (if any) and what chapter you are a member of.
For chapters outside the United States: non-profit laws vary in different countries. All chapters on U.S. military bases overseas are expected to follow U.S. non-profit laws. Contact your base information officer if you have questions about being a non-profit organization on a U.S. military base overseas. For chapters that are outside the U.S. and are not on U.S. military bases, following the basic rules for U.S. chapters – no distribution of money to members or members’ families, no contributions to political candidates or causes, and all chapter money used for our non-profit purposes – is a good start for a non-profit organization in any country. If you have questions about non-profit status and your chapter, please contact your Coordinator.