Question: Non-Profit status for PTOs

We are looking at becoming a PTO and need to know if we need to become 501(c) (3) non-profit organization or can we just use the school district's ?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
We strongly recommend that groups become 501c3. There are a lot of advantages -- for one thing, donors can only deduct their donations from their personal taxes if you are 501c3. In addition, most grants are only available to 501c3 organizations. And being a 501c3 gives you a stronger cache when you approach businesses and other organizations. There's a one-time filing fee of $850 for most groups, but there's no recurring cost once that's paid. And the process is time-consuming, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Our PTO Startup Guide walks you through the application question by question. As far as using the school's tax-exempt status, it presents some problems. Donations to the school will still be tax exempt, but the money will have to go directly to the school. For instance, if a business donates $50 to support your carnival, you can't put that money in your PTO account -- it must go to the school's account.

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