Re: 501(c)3 status
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 7 May 2015 05:09:21 -0700 (PDT)
> On May 6, 2015, at 10:15 AM, revjat [at] wrote:
> Placitas Sage Cohousing is a developing senior community in New Mexico 
> between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  Two years ago we organized as an LLC.  
> Now, as we are about to purchase our site from members, we realize the 
> advantages of being a 501(c)3 non-profit. 
> Can any of you tell us how best to change to that status, and/or the 
> advantages or disadvantages of doing so?

Because cohousing is a socially conscious real estate and community 
development, many potential residents think it is a charitable activity. It’s 
still real estate development. A 501(c)3 organization is one that  is 
established for charitable and educational programs that benefit the public, 
not themselves. If you were developing your community as housing for other 
people, as a service to seniors everywhere, it might qualify. But it would have 
to be closer to public housing. Or a very high-level demonstration project of 
some kind — solar, water generating, foster care, etc.

The advantage of being a 501(c)3 is that people can make tax deductible 
donations. It makes you eligible for more foundation grants. Things like that. 
Few people donate money to real estate developers.

Wikipedia has very good articles on the various legal status categories.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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