A few months ago the Carrick Community Council began the transformation of becoming a non-political 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.
Historically, for dozens of years, the council was designated as a 501(c) (4) organization which, unlike 501(c) (3) organizations, could lobby for legislation and participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as campaigning is not the organization's primary purpose.
In addition, because of their political nature, contributions to 501(c) (4) organizations are not deductible as charitable contributions and are not required to disclose their donors publicly. This aspect of the law has led to extensive use of the 501(c) (4) provisions for organizations actively involved in lobbying, and has become controversial and was not beneficial to the current Carrick council.
In the past dozen years the Carrick Community Council has not been a political organization, preferring to organize community educational forums, candidate debates, public safety discussions with Pittsburgh officials, community events and become organization for the public good. In addition, the new status will mean tax deductibility.
Due to the tax deductions associated with donations, many foundations and corporate matching programs do not grant funds to a charity without 501(c) (3) status, and individual donors often do not donate to such a charity due to the unavailability of the deduction.
As a result of the reorganization, the council Board of Directors voted to hold quarterly meetings rather than monthly meetings for the immediate future. The community council's next public meetings will be March 9 and May 11 at 7 p.m. at Pittsburgh Concord Elementary.
The Carrick Community Council also is asking citizens to become more involved and join the council to help organize several planned events throughout the year. With more community participation and involvement, the council hopes the neighborhood can continue to build pride and improve the quality of life.
Visit the council's web site, www.carrickpa.com, to see the progress made last year and review what they have planned for 2011.