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More specifically, how does your club solicit sponsors if you are not a 501c3 charity? Our club has looked into becoming a 501c3 but we would have to get a lawyer (around$500) and then there would be a $400 filing fee with the IRS and a 1 to 8 month wait to see if they accepted or rejected all of the forms that would have to be filed.
You just go door to door and beg. It is demeaning and unnecessary but some TDs are pretty good at it. You can get all the sponsorship you need by buying buying from the major manufacturers at wholesale and pricing at retail for purposes of tournament value in the payouts.
A middle way is to organize as a not-for-profit corporation and skip the 501c3. When you tell a potential sponsor that you are a not-for-profit corporation they just assume you are a 501c3. You probably don't need a lawyer for this. Just use legalforms.com or a similar site. But then you have to file informational tax returns every year.
The only way a disc golf club gets 501c3 status is if it lies about what it is doing or if the IRS drone is not really doing his job. There is no 501c3 category that fits what a disc golf club wants to do unless what it wants to do is to organize and operate exclusively to foster international and national competition, and it primarily conducts national and international competitions. So AmNationals could organize as a 501c3. Podunk Disc Golf Club can't, unless they pull one over on the IRS. See, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p557.pdf , especially page 32.
There might be a c7 category that fits a disc golf club. I have not looked. I do not see a c3 category that fits.
We are a 501c7 . www.sandiegoaces.com
It all depends what you are soliciting for, money, give-aways, labor for a course, etc... When I was raising money to build a course I had no club or 501c3. In fact I kind of started my own club out of the people who are helping me build the course... But the point is, when it came time to solicit for money I got the park to be the front for my operations. Sponsors would cut the park a check and the park would then turn around and give the money to me. This made it so that all the donors would be dealing with a legitimate branch of the county board instead of me.
Dan, what about doing it like Tee shirt sponsors, say $50. Then they atleast get something for there money in the form of advertisment. I dont know how much your trying to get but that would be a good start. I know taco bell and mcdonald sponsored alot of events for wabash disc golf club back in the early 90's. I think it was the Brazil ones that did it. If your going threw the park there is a good chance Walmart would help out also.
We are going to go after club sponsors and tournament sponsors. All sponsors will get a logo/name on tournament shirts, we will have at least 3 PDGA tournaments with shirts as part of the players pack (size of logo depending on amount donated) + company name and link to their website on our website. In response to Destrayer, I am pursuing going through the parks dept. and am awaiting their reply. Thanks for everybodies input - especially Disc Player Sports!LOL!!