Recently I have been giving a lot of thought as to OLHD’s longevity, and that of our website. Over the last 10 years OLHD has become a well recognized organization in Clackamas County due to the information on our website, the occasional OLHD postings on Facebook, our occasional presentations, presence at community events, and occasional activism on history-related issues. However, the reality is that we are hampered by the fact that we are not a 501(c)3. The potential of our website meeting the goals of our mission, and the potential of what more we COULD be doing in the community to be consistent with our goals, is limited by our membership and the size of our bank account. Many former members did not renew in October. Unless we change that it will ultimately affect our bank balance and thus our longevity.
In considering all of these factors I finally came to the conclusion that OLHD ought to actively pursue becoming a 501(c)3 organization. This tax-exempt status would allow us to receive grants – – grants to improve the website and conduct community projects – – and it would provide us the legitimacy to match what is already the perception. Our website is arguably one of our best mechanisms for meeting our mission and has a great deal of potential that is not being realized. There are also projects within the community that we could be doing, but for a lack of adequate funds.
This idea was put before the OLHD membership several years ago, and the consensus then was that it should be looked into. However, for a variety of reasons, it never happened. A week ago I resurrected the idea and put it before the OLHD Board. It was approved by a majority.
Based on this OLHD will be actively pursuing obtaining 501(c)3 status with the IRS. I will keep you informed as this process continues, and hope that you will support it.
Chairman, Oak Lodge History Detectives