What Being a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization Means for Women In Consulting 

Charitable Organization

Women In Consulting became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization late in 2020, as we announced at that time.

But what does that mean for us?

TL;DR: This means we serve the larger community of independent consultants with education, networking, and other programs. And our members help make that happen while also getting greater access and other benefits of belonging and contributing to the organization. And all is tax deductible. You can also contribute passively with programs like Amazon’s Smile and help us do even more good in the world (see details at the bottom of this).

Long version: Prior to August 2020, Women In Consulting was a 501(c)(6) nonprofit – a designation by the United States IRS for business leagues like chambers of commerce, trade boards, professional leagues, and so on. Those organizations are not organized for profit and they may, occasionally, make political statements. Payments to those organizations are not tax deductible.

Our change to a 501(c)(3) IRS designation makes all contributions tax deductible (including your dues) just as any contribution to a charity is tax deductible. 

This shift also means our mission applies to a larger community, beyond our members. In our case, the Women In Consulting mission makes a commitment to serve the larger community of independent consultants:

The purposes for which this corporation is formed are to provide and support a collaborative community in which independent consultants, whether members or not of the corporation, can discuss their business needs, network, share information and learn through educational programs, workshops, or other meetings or programs about starting, running, and promoting an independent consulting practice.

Membership in a charitable organization amplifies the positive impact we can have on our focus community. In our case, our members make possible our programs, events, research, and networking that benefits both our members and our community. At the same time, our members get additional benefits, like discounts at Office Depot, service discounts, access to some member-only events, and so on.

Think of your favorite charitable organization. Maybe it’s a performing arts organization like the symphony, opera, or stage. Or maybe it’s an environmental organization. Or an animal welfare organization. Or a museum. When you join that organization ­– become a member – you get two types of benefits, generally:

  1. You contribute directly to increasing or improving programs that help achieve the mission of that organization: great music, preserved forests, fewer endangered species, etc.
  2. You get benefits such as access to special programs, events, resources, or people that help you learn more about how the mission can be accomplished, what the issues are, or the latest breakthroughs.

Women In Consulting Focus as a 501(c)(3)

This illustrates how Women In Consulting’s offerings need to shift over time: to offering benefits to members while improving the outcomes of independent consultants generally. We can accomplish this with volunteers, with grants, with corporate sponsorships, or other creative means. 

And this is why our board is working on our strategic objectives for the next few years: to identify how we will make a difference and what we will offer to members, while maintaining our core unique difference as a place for genuine connection, generous advice and learning, and in-depth insights into how to succeed in independent consulting.

We are currently looking at expanding our Consulting 101 program to include education and hard-won insights at 4 levels for different stages encountered by independent consultants. We hope this will help women leaving the corporate world out of frustration and lack of flexibility or recognition so that they can be successful independently. 

We are also shoring up our connecting programs to facilitate each of us getting to know each other and develop deeper relationships in this hybrid world we are now in. Women In Consulting had a fabulous Ambassador program in the in-person world – we’ll be taking the foundations of that and bringing it to today’s world.

We’re excited about the impact we can have on behalf of independent consultants and for women committed to creating financial success using their intelligence, education, skills, talents, and IP.

I hope you are excited and inspired by all the possibilities available to our organization and to you as a member or part of our community.

I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts, ideas, or contributions.

About Kathryn Gorges

President of Women In Consulting, Senior Business and Marketing Coach, and Co-Founder at Inspired Success, I coach and lead masterminds for inspired entrepreneurs creating businesses that fuel their passion, bring them joy, put them in flow, and make them money. I apply over 10 years transformational coaching experience and 17 years of high tech marketing and sales to my work with entrepreneurs. My extensive marketing background enables me to help businesses close the gaps between their offerings and the needs of their market and communicate value simply and effectively so that revenue can grow sustainably.

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