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Advocates for Children in Therapy: Not-for-Profit

October 9, 2010

To set the record straight about a falsehood that has been posted on various websites, Advocates for Children in Therapy is a not-for-profit organization. Attempts are being made to misportray ACT as “for-profit” when nothing could be further from the truth.

That certain other WordPress blog is attempting to perpetuate this falsehood, claiming that since ACT is not listed in Guidestar that is proof that it is not tax exempt. Wrong. Non profits are not required to be listed with Guidestar, hence, not all non profits are listed in Guidestar. An organization not being listed in Guidestar is proof of nothing. Nonprofits who make $25000 or less are not required to file Form 990

From Guidestar’s FAQ:

  1. Why don’t all organizations have financial information?

  1. What are GuideStar Reports? GuideStar Reports are Web pages displaying information on a single nonprofit organization. The amount of information available on these pages depends on each organization’s participation level. The most active nonprofits provide information for their GuideStar Reports, upload documents, and post pictures, add news releases, etc. GuideStar Reports are found by searching the site and selecting one of the organizations on the search results page.
  2. Where do you get your nonprofit report data? Financial information comes from the IRS Business Master File of exempt organizations and IRS Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF. Other information, such as an organization’s programs, accomplishments, and goals, are obtained directly from the organization or from the organization’s Form 990 or 990-EZ.
  3. If an organization is listed on GuideStar, does it have GuideStar’s “seal of approval”? No. GuideStar does not judge nonprofits; it is not a watchdog organization, we practice neutrality. GuideStar’s goal is to help donors make their own judgments, based on the information provided on the Web site.You will see the GuideStar Exchange Seal on GuideStar Exchange members’ nonprofit report pages. This seal indicates that the nonprofit has updated their nonprofit report to the fullest, thus becoming a GuideStar Exchange member.
  4. Why don’t all organizations have financial information? Financial information is only available for organizations that file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ. Many exempt organizations do not file a 990. For example, only about one-third of the nation’s 900,000-plus public charities file. The remaining charities are not required to file either because (a) they have incomes of $25,000 or less or (b) they are faith-based organizations and are therefore exempt from filing.

Update: After I proved them wrong about Guidestar, for the second time today, the anonymous bloggers have failed to refute me by ranting in all capital letters that I have “FAILED AGAIN” posting a “screenshot” of an IRS website, failing to provide the actual link and not stating what it was a list of. And no, anonymous bloggers, typing in all capital letters does not strengthen your case. It only shows that you shout but that does not change the fact that the IRS website, it turns out, does not publish a list of all non profits, it only publishes a certain subcategory of non profits and this would have been clear if the bloggers had actually published the link to the website, rather than the misleading screen shot. Publication of an IRS list that does not have ACT on it, again, does not prove anything. ACT’s non-profit status is truthfully stated on its website.

The anonymous blogger does not seem to understand that not all non-profits have the status that they can accept tax-deductible contributions. An organization can be a non profit, yet not have the status where they can accept charitable, tax-deductible contributions. The list the IRS publishes is the sub-category of non profit organizations that can accept charitable contributions. ACT is a non-profit, but is not in that subcategory where it can accept tax-deductible, charitable contributions. Hence, ACT is not on the IRS’s list. Not all non-profits are on the IRS list.

With the people who have a vendetta against ACT and would just love to see it fail, if that declaration were not truthful, you can bet it would have been reported. Instead what we get is shouting in all capital letters on anonymous blogs. Furthermore, non-profits making less than $25K per year or under no obligation to post the sort of documentation on their websites that the anonymous bloggers mistakenly think they are entitled to. They are not entitled to anything.

Interesting, though, how the anonymous bloggers have chosen to focus on this and have not provided one word of rebuttal to my response to that person who claimed to be a parent and had misrepresented ACT in a number of ways. Not one word addressing any the key issues I raised about the falsehoods regarding statements that ACT did not make.

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