[Ansteorra] Member or Not?

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Thu Jan 10 22:20:00 PST 2008

This is a strawman. If you look at all the 501(c)3 groups, indeed
educational or charitable groups as a whole, not many allow membership at
this price and very few allow non-members to play. For a counter example,
look at YMCA. They charge hundreds of dollars in my area. The Boy Scouts
charge at least what the SCA does, then requires you to buy uniforms and
other items directly from them. This costs 3 to 5 times what the SCA charges
(yes, you have to make an attempt at pre 1600 garb, but the SCA does not
sell it to you).

The IRS looks at whether the funds you take in are properly spent on your
chartered purpose. Ours is to educate people about the middle ages and
preserve skills and knowledge of the time. Though we are less expensive than
most 501(c)3 groups, our charter is not to provide knowledge at the lowest
possible cost or to provide it to the less fortunate. Those are admirable
goals, but not part of the charter. 

Our legal status is not in jeopardy because non-members or some members who
do not subscribe to the newsletter are not counted as one of many factors in
determining if a chapter is viable. We could obviously collapse our
structure to one type of membership, require everyone to be members, raise
the rates to 3 times the current ones, and still remain a 501(c)3. I'm not
saying we should do any of those things, but they would not get us in
trouble with the IRS.

In service,
Caelin on Andrede (not a lawyer but acquainted with IRS regulations)

-----Original Message-----
From: ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of Paul E. Kiefer,
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 17:28 PM
To: Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.
Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Member or Not?

Okay, putting the legal issues aside and wading into dangerous waters,
here's my concern....

Was this corporation formed only for the rich?  It would seem to me that,
regardless of level of membership subscription, we have two primary

1.  To relive the Middle Ages/Renaissance as if it were still here today;
and (b)
2.  Bring about an education of the time period to the general public, in
compliance with IRC 503(c)

If one limits the populace count to a membership fee that could be a
financial hardship to someone, do we then fail to fulfill IRC 503(c)?  Do
we, in fact, endanger the existence of an entire kingdom, if not the entire

Just something to ponder....

Lord Johann Kiefer Haydon (Paul E. Kiefer, Jr.)

----- Original Message ----
From: Pat Mullins <paedrics at yahoo.com>
To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:42:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Member or Not?

Chris Zakes <dontivar at gmail.com> wrote:Thus there is no clear
black-and-white statement of whether 
a Family or Associate member qualifies as a subscribing member. I 
think it's a reasonable interpretation that "subscribing member" 
means "paid member" (of any flavor.)

-Tivar Moondragon 

It makes more sense to me that "member" means "'paid member' (of any
flavor)" while "subscribing member" means "member with a subscription" i.e.
someone who gets the kingdom newsletter.

Having said this, however, it does seem ridiculous to me to require two or
more people living in the same house to *each* have a subscription to a
kingdom newsletter, for both to be counted toward a group's membership

It is ironic that a group formed by Berkeley, Ca hippies in the 60s would
require such a waste of paper (and by extension, trees). Guess they aren't
the tree-hugging flavor of hippies...

My tuppence,

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