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Camp Verde chamber forms a nonprofit
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 00:00

The Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce is working to establish nonprofit corporation to allow the agency to pursue a wide variety of funding sources currently unavailable under the group’s current status with the Internal Revenue Service.

The chamber, like others across the state, has taken hit from state budget cutbacks, including dollars that were previously available to promote tourism.

The new corporation will help fill an important gap when it comes to raising money, said Chamber Executive Director Tracie Schimikowsky.

“It will allow us to apply for different types of grant money,” Schimikowsky said. “We could also use money for a variety of different purposes, including hiring people to work at the visitors center.”

The new organization, called the Camp Verde Chamber Foundation Inc., will technically be a 501(c)(3) corporation, eligible for many more fundraising activities under federal tax code as opposed to the chamber’s current 501(c)(6) status.

The foundation’s articles of incorporation spell out exactly what the organization hopes to accomplish.

“The foundation is organized to engage in charitable fundraising for the exclusive purpose of providing resources to and engaging in activities that positively impact the quality of life and the business environment in Camp Verde, Arizona,” the document reads. “The foundation will provide funding for education, economic development, research and community betterment programs and services to other organizations exempt from tax under [IRS codes].”

That mission covers a lot of ground, Schimikowsky said. In addition to providing potential funding for efforts to spur economic activity in Camp Verde, the foundation could also feasibly expand into other offerings including student scholarships.

Schimikowsky said the foundation could also raise money for marketing the town.

“We’ve talked about [forming the foundation] for about a year,” Schimikowsky said. “We’re excited about the opportunity.”

The articles also spell out that the foundation can’t use any net earnings to benefit directors, officers or other private citizens beyond providing “reasonable compensation for services rendered.”

Nor can the foundation spend a “substantial part” of its resources in attempting to influence legislation or participation in political campaigns for public office, including printing or distributing statements on behalf of any candidate.

The foundation’s directors would be the members of the current Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Schimikowsky said. They would simply officially close a chamber meeting and reconvene as the foundation board as a matter of legal formality.

Schimikowsky said that the necessary documents for the foundation have already been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission and all that’s left is to obtain final approval from the IRS.


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