Non-Profit


ROYERSFORD PA – The food pantry of the Open Door Ministry, 350 Main St., Royersford PA, will be open to those who qualify Thursday (Sept. 23, 2010) from noon to 4 p.m. The pantry operates weekly on Thursdays at the same times except the last Thursday of the month, when it is open from 4-7 p.m.

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COLLEGEVILLE PA – “Corvettes For A Cure,” a fund-raising car show to benefit the Delaware Valley Alzheimer’s Association, will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Providence Town Center shopping complex, at the intersection of U.S. Route 422 and Route 29 in Collegeville PA. For more information, call 610-409-9047.

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KING OF PRUSSIA PA – The Valley Forge Mothers of Twins and Triplets Club will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday (Sept. 15, 2010)  in the downstairs social hall of the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company, 170 Allendale Rd., King of Prussia PA. Its general business meeting will begin at 7 p.m., followed by an ice cream social.

Mothers of twins, higher-order multiples, and expectant mothers of multiples all are invited to attend. Most of the club’s more than 160 members live in southern Montgomery and northern Chester counties. It has continually served multiple-birth families for more than 40 years.

For more information,  call 610-792-1768.

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VALLEY FORGE PA – “Family Movie Night Under the Stars,” featuring the Disney Pixar animated feature “Up,” will be held Friday (Aug. 27, 2010) beginning at 8 p.m. in the grove at the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, 630 Valley Park Rd., Valley Forge PA.

Tickets cost $5 per adult, and $3 per child. Refreshments will be available. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets for seating.

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FREDERICK PA – “Changing Your Brain For The Better,” an educational breakfast program that features Barb Dively of Acquired Brain Injury Network of PA Inc. as its presenter, is scheduled to be held Sept. 18 (2010; Saturday) from 10-11:30 a.m. at Frederick Mennonite Community, 2849 Big Road (Route 73), Frederick PA. The free program is open to the public.

Participants will be shown useful and practical ways to keep the brain fit. The adage ‘use it or lose it’ is true not only of muscles but also of the brain, promoters say. The program intends to provide practical information on brain fitness that can be immediately applied to any life.

The breakfast is co-sponsored by Frederick Mennonite Community, and the CARE Program of the Tri-County Community Network. Advance reservations are required by Sept. 13 (Monday). For more information or to make a reservation, call Jan Morris at 610-754-7878, Ext. 109.

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LIMERICK PA – More than 190 area charitable groups – 78 of them located in municipalities from Limerick east to Norristown, and covering everything from religious bodies to foundations that help worthy students pay for college – are in jeopardy of losing their federal tax-exempt status because they failed to file necessary paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service during the past three years, the government agency said.

The problem, the IRS acknowledges, is that groups in trouble still may not know the paperwork is overdue.

However, it’s giving them until Oct. 15 to make amends, by sending what the agency considers relatively brief forms to cover its reporting needs. That will allow groups to keep their exemptions, on which contributors rely to deduct donations when filing annual income tax returns.

A loss of tax-exempt status certainly could put a crimp into these charities’ fund-raising efforts. It also could impact thousands of area residents who support the causes or beliefs of, or who benefit from, the organizations’ efforts.

The IRS’ lengthy list of local groups facing revocation of their exemption includes 21 from Phoenixville, 16 from Collegeville, 12 from Harleysville, nine from Royersford, six from Spring City, five from Schwenksville, four from Kimberton, two from Limerick, and one each from Parkerford, Rahns and Zieglerville.

See a list of all affected area groups, compiled from the complete and most recently available (dated June 30, 2010, and downloaded Monday, Aug. 9) IRS information, here.

Some listed organizations may no longer be operating. Some may have merged with other groups. Some may have resolved their issues with the IRS after June 30 but have not yet been removed from its list. Unfortunately, according to area accountants, most are still in business as one- or two-person groups with limited or no staff or budget, and who haven’t paid attention to the IRS’ rules.

Their problems stem from a Congressional bill known as the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which took effect in 2007. As part of an attempt to encourage growing charitable organizations to be held financially accountable, federal legislators ordered non-profits with gross incomes of less than $25,000 annually to file a report every year with the IRS. It’s known as Form 990.

To ensure non-profits complied, the legislation carried a penalty: those who didn’t file for three consecutive years risked losing their tax-exempt status. Sure enough, three years after the law took effect, the IRS has come knocking on the doors of the delinquents. The IRS video above, hosted at its YouTube account, explains the requirements.

Nationwide, the agency is reported to have sent more than a million letters to non-filing non-profits, reminding them of their obligations. Because so many are in trouble it even created postcard-sized short forms that can be electronically filed.

Groups that lose their exemptions can have them reinstated, but at an average cost of several thousand dollars. Because the law does not give the IRS any discretion in its enforcement, an agency spokesman added, those who do not comply will lose their exemptions early in 2011.

Editor’s note: The Post thanks Chris Huff, a member of the writing team for The Pulse! – the blog of Pottstown advocacy group Code Blue – for suggesting this story and contact sources. If you’ve got a story idea or tip we should explore, e-mail The Post.

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SCHWENKSVILLE PA – The Illinois-based Giving Tree Band, dubbed the “The Greenest Band In The Land” by Mother Earth News, will make its Philadelphia Folk Festival debut in August, and in return the group has offered the festival – which runs Aug. 20-22 (2010) at the Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville PA – a grant to seed two new green initiatives at this year’s edition of the folk music extravaganza.

Sing bye-bye to that waste.

The band currently is touring behind its upcoming album, “The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious,” and  is set to play Aug. 21 (Saturday). Its seed grant will help the festival:

  • Partner with its food and beverage coordinator, Festival Food Management, to provide 99.9% recycled, biodegradable, or compostable paper goods, plastic cutlery, and cups to all its customers; and
  • Reduce its hard-copy mailings by a third, with hopes of greater reduction by its 50th annual Festival next year. A “PFF Goes Green” booth at the Festival this year will allow ticket-buyers and advocates to sign up and receive future e-mail promotions rather than mailings.

The festival has participated in environmental consciousness in past years too. It won awards since the early 1990s, such as Pennsylvania Resources Council in Achievement and Special Events Recycling. The new efforts are intended to extend into the festival’s 50th anniversary during 2011, and may “open other possibilities for eco-friendliness,” festival spokeswoman Carrie Gorn said.

“The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious” marks the third full-length release for The Giving Tree Band, which calls Yorkville IL home. Recorded in its home studio, the album “represents their strongest song-craft to date, and is poised to be a break-out release for the folksy group,” Gorn said. Aside from its musical strides, The Giving Tree Band continues its green efforts as a band. They have a tradition of producing carbon-neutral records, and now tour in a bio-diesel van.

This year’s three-day collection of traditional and contemporary music performances, dance, crafts, camping, and children’s activities will be highlighted by an exclusive East Coast, solo performance from Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy.

Among the other top attractions at the 49th annual festival are Taj Mahal, Richard Thompson, Chris Smither and the Motivators, Susan Werner (joined by Natalia Zukerman and Trina Hamlin), vocal group Sonos, Vienna Teng, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, A.A. Bondy, The Sweetback Sisters, Shannon Whitworth, Mickey Clark and the Blue Northern, Malinky, Iain Matthews, Butch Ross, Blame Sally, and Annie and the Beekeepers.

Tickets for the Philadelphia Folk Festival are now on sale and can be purchased online. Daily event tickets with early-bird pricing start at $44; early-bird pricing ends July 20.  Attend all three days and camp for just $145 in tent camping and $170 in vehicle camping.

For more information about the festival and tickets, call its office at 800-556-FOLK.

Photo from Clipart.com

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