After 15 months and 12 days (yes, painfully counting) we finally received the form that we’ve been waiting for! We applied for our nonprofit determination in September 2012, with the official date of receipt at the IRS office of October 4, 2012. We expected an approval in 60-90 days. Another lesson to learn. We called periodically to check on our status, and each time were (at least) reassured that we were in the second category, which means while it wasn’t completely wrong (group three,) it wasn’t perfect (group 1.) We were told we had “minimal development needed” and we needed to wait to be assigned to an IRS employee who would tell us what “minimal development” to change. We’ve always had the 501c3 nonprofit status under Beginnings, Inc. but the address on that Federal EIN number is in Raleigh. As with Beginnings-SC, other foundations in SC must be true to their mission, which generally includes giving to only SC nonprofits. As frustrating as that was during our extended wait, we respect adhering to one’s mission.

So, I walk into the office on Thursday and the volunteer at the front desk says, “You have a letter from the IRS on your chair.” How exciting and scary! Luckily one of our Board members, Connie, was there and gave me some moral support to open the letter. Finally! We had an IRS employee to tell us what to do! [insert your own version of squeals and happy emails, etc.]

IRS jargon is a bit overwhelming. Several reads later, I realized the only “development” needed was sending in two signatures ! Only one paragraph of our entire 20+ page application needed revising. I called our contact at the IRS to be reassured that I was, indeed, correct. I was, and I easily completed the needed forms and faxed it on. Will (Mr. Very Helpful at the IRS) said he’d get it first of this coming week, and will (with 99% certainty) approve it and we’ll get our paperwork in a couple of weeks!

So. We. Are. A. South Carolina. Nonprofit!