Updated: Aug 1, 2020
What is the club's mission and objectives?
A committee of Board Officers and Trustees are reviewing the Kenmore Community Club Constitution and Bylaws with an eye to align the club’s mission with its non-profit status.
Currently the club is chartered as a 501(c)4 organization, which is a non-profit status designed for civic and social welfare organizations formed to lobby for, and promote political candidates and public policies.
Among examples of Civic Leagues and Social Welfare organizations the IRS says such groups may work to "improve public services, housing and residential parking ..."
When the club was founded in 1929 as a Civic Club it was intended to do just that to bring roads and other development to the unincorporated town of Kenmore for the purpose of developing trade and commerce in the fledgling town.
In 1998 Kenmore was incorporated and became a city with a governing structure that provides road improvements, and city services for the residents of the city. Consequently the Kenmore Community Club’s civic mission evaporated.
In 2009 the club revised its mission with an eye to providing broader community support by facilitating community connections among residents and with the city by supporting the cultural, artistic, social and educational efforts of the community. To better reflect that vision, the club added a revision to the mission that specifically prohibited the club from accepting political donations such that we, "shall not sponsor political candidates, nor any initiatives, referendums or propositions."
At the same time its 501c4 non-profit status prohibited us from accepting charitable donations. According to the IRS, "Contributions to civic leagues or other section 501(c)(4) organizations generally are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes."
That left the club with a mission that was contradictory to its non-profit status. In short, our constitution prohibits accepting political donations while our 501c4 status prohibits the club from receiving tax-deductible charitable donations.
The current COVID-19 crisis has brought into sharp focus the club’s financial vulnerability resulting from a loss of hall rental income. As a 501c3, the club could have additional revenue support from donations that might provide more sustainable financial security in the future.
Whether the club’s constitution can be revised to resolve the current conflicts in mission and non-profit status, or whether the club will need to change its tax-status has yet to be determined.
When the committee agrees on a revised draft of the constitution, it will next present the changes to the Board, and if approved ALL current Members will be able to review, comment and vote on the revised constitution.