ARTZ Philadelphia is a Non-Profit Organization: What Does That Mean?

ARTZ Philadelphia and 501(c)(3) status

At ARTZ Philadelphia, we believe deeply in the importance of transparency. Being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governs how we operate at ARTZ Philadelphia, but what is a 501(c)(3)? We offer this page to clarify what being a 501(c)(3) organization does and doesn’t mean for ARTZ Philadelphia —  and for you as a member of our community. Read on to learn more about 501(c)(3)s. There may be some information that surprises you!

What is a 501(c)(3)?

There are a number of different designations used by the IRS to clarify the legal and financial status of non-profit organizations. Being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization means the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined that our mission and our activities serve “the public good.” We must therefore consistently operate for charitable purposes, rather than for private financial benefit or personal profit. All of our financial resources must support these charitable purposes. A charitable purpose, as defined by the IRS, includes a mission such as education, eliminating prejudice and discrimination, providing relief to the underserved, and more. 501(c)(3) status exempts our organization from income taxes and provides tax deductions for donations we receive to the extent permissible by state and federal laws at any given time. To learn more about 501(c)(3) requirements click here.

501(c)(3)s and Political Activity

Being a designated 501(c)(3) non profit organization also means that we must follow certain rules and regulations. In particular, we are subject to rules governing political activity. In order to retain our 501(c)(3) status, we must not engage in activities related to campaigning for or against specific political candidates or intervene directly (pro or con) in partisan elections. However, as an organization that exists to champion the public good, we are permitted — and indeed, are expected — to advocate for issues and policies, related to our mission and to the well-being of those we serve. Non-profits must remain non-partisan, which only means we can’t support specific candidates or political parties. It does not mean we can’t take stances on issues that matter to you, your loved ones, and the good of the communities we serve. This is why you may see us advocating strongly and passionately for the rights and well-being of people living with dementia, their care partners, and for communities and populations particularly susceptible to dementia-related illnesses or lacking in equitable healthcare resources.

Does this surprise you?

If any of this surprises you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. This may all come as a bit of a surprise as there is a good deal of confusion out there about the activities that are and aren’t permissible or recommended for organizations such as ours. For more specifics on the rules about political activity click here. And if at any time you have questions about how we check, double-check, and triple-check the ethics and appropriateness of our actions as a 501(c)(3) organization, please reach out to us!