159 Georgia Together Now a 501c4 Organization with Founding Board of Directors
For the last two months, you may have noticed a few director posts and wondered, just what does that mean? Well, since we formed the 501c4 organization, the old working group that oversaw it as formed the founding board of directors.
As a 501c4 organization, 159 Georgia Together is considered a "social welfare" group. These are nonprofit organizations including civic leagues or local volunteer fire departments, for example, that in theory are designed to promote, well, social welfare causes, such as progressive values.
The IRS’s designation of "501(c)" is just the tax code for nonprofit groups, and (4) is the subsection of groups to which we belong.
501c4 organizations may participate in politics, so long as politics do not become their primary focus. What this means for 159 Georgia Together is that we must spend less than 50 percent of our money on politics. Granted, this isn’t hard since we are a nonprofit organization with a shoestring budget.
As long has 159 Georgia Together doesn’t cross the 50 percent threshold, we can work to effect political change in Georgia. This is why we did not endorse a candidate in the Sixth District jungle primary in April. Now that there are only two candidates, one of whom is a progressive, we can focus on helping elect Jon Ossoff.
To ensure 159 Georgia Together follows the rules and doesn’t tick off the IRS, we have a board of directors, which will grow to 11 members. These members will help with governance and set policy, as in what projects we might tackle like health care for all in Georgia, voter rights, including fighting voter suppression and women’s rights.
The directors are all volunteers. Some have been with the organization from the early days in November. Others joined in January and still others in recent months. All have one thing in common a love for this country and state and a strong sense of social justice.
And, the board is actively searching for a 159 member who is a CPA to serve as the treasurer. In addition to serving on the board, we are forming various policy committees to help facilitate the changing of Georgia county by progressive county.
These policy committees include civic engagement (think voter rights, voter education, voter suppression and gerrymandering), elections (finding and supporting progressive candidates) and health care (ensuring all Georgians have access to health insurance and adequate care) to start. If you are interested in helping with any of these committees, email firstname.lastname@example.org.