Something I had never thought about re: the Borg's nonprofit status

by dubstepped 31 Replies latest jw friends

  • dubstepped

    I am actually looking into the possibility of starting my own nonprofit for ex-JWs with specific goals and I've learned more about the process. I was interviewing someone for the podcast that is familiar with nonprofits and she told me something that I had never considered. Maybe everyone else has but I don't remember seeing anything about it here.

    I always wondered how the Borg keep a nonprofit status when they don't really do anything charitable. She told me that it is the time slips that everyone turns in that gives them "volunteer hours" and that is why you have to turn one in each month. I had never thought about that as the backbone of the nonprofit status. I knew that even as a JW I would fire back about our worldwide preaching work when people questioned me about what kind of charity we did, and I guess it is, though it is those time reports that really give them the status. I just never really linked the two. No wonder they're all about numbers.

    Maybe there's more to it that someone will shed light on. Maybe everyone already knew this. I just found it interesting and it makes sense.

  • waton

    you just have to introduce time slips for your staff. And make them count time while they sit in their first class seats on assignments. and dont forget the non profit corporate Cadillacs standing by on both coasts (Rutherford style).

  • Spiral

    I've always thought this was true. Plus, the bOrg probably pretends to governments that the preaching work is an educational work (as in teaching people to read).

    When I volunteer at the local museum, they keep track of our volunteer hours and what we are doing during that time.

    But most JWs I know have never made this connection.

    But I wonder who in the government(s) is responsible to check up on this kind of stuff? Because someone should question it.

  • roseofjuly

    Nonprofits don't have to do anything charitable. There are lots of different kinds of nonprofits; not all of them do charitable works. I doubt that the time slips that JWs turn in has to do with maintaining their nonprofit status.

    501(c)(3) status is "exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for testing for public safety, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals." Lots of churches and other religious organizations without evangelizing or proselytizing as a primary activity have 501(c)(3) status. I have some relatives who started their own church and they have 501(c)(3) status. They do the kind of normal outreach that churches do for their own members, but they're definitely not a charitable organization.

    Here's a taxonomy of nonprofit organizations:

  • dubstepped

    Fascinating that you joined the forum just to post this. Curious as to your background.

    From what I gather there must be some way to quantify some sort of activity that can be determined to meet the IRS criteria in order to justify donations. Lots of other churches actually do charitable works. Jehovah's Witnesses do not.

  • blondie

    One thing that jws do under the direction of the WTS is teach people to read and speak English. There are even publications for that. That would be considered charitable work. I wonder if other Christian religions use their preaching and missionary work to qualify.

  • dubstepped

    Maybe that's part of it blondie. I could see that though it seems such a small part of the group I'm not sure how it would qualify. Seems the JWs are more into learning other languages than teaching English. Maybe that qualifies as an outreach, self-serving as it all may be.

    I'd be curious to hear more about other groups that do nothing charitable that maintain charitable status as roseofjuly mentioned.

  • blondie
    Distinct legal existence
  • Recognized creed and form of worship
  • Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
  • Formal code of doctrine and discipline
  • Distinct religious history
  • Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
  • Organization of ordained ministers
  • Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
  • Literature of its own
  • Established places of worship
  • Regular congregations
  • Regular religious services
  • Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young
  • Schools for the preparation of its members
    The above are sources for research. Designated an organization as a charitable religion has been a hard and difficult road considering the eventually designation of Scientology as a charitable religion.

  • blondie

    The edit function doesn't seem to be working. Let me add the WTS also goes into disasters and helps others and spins it as if many non-jws are helped too. Well, insiders I can say that it is a rare exception when a non-jw is helped, usually a non-jw spouse. But the WTS is skilled at obfuscation.

  • dubstepped

    We'll see where this posts as the box is above blondie's last post, lol.

    Anyway, that seems to be the definition of a church. The link you provided says that it is the definition of the church, and that along with other facts and circumstances it is determined whether one is a church for federal tax purposes. They give a tax publication that apparently goes further into it but it may be more involved.

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