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What is a Nonprofit?

The winning entry for WRA's new logo

Wind River Alliance is a “nonprofit” organization, but what exactly does this term mean?

A nonprofit is an organization whose income is not used for the benefit or gain of stockholders, directors, or other persons with an interest in the company. Instead, a nonprofit’s income must be used solely to support its operations and stated purpose.

As a nonprofit, Wind River Alliance is able (and is in fact required by law) to put all our energy and resources toward our mission of protecting and restoring the Wind River watershed.

Wind River Alliance is currently pursuing tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 501(c)(3) organizations are often called “public benefit” or “charitable” organizations, and include scientific, religious, educational, artistic, and health charitable organizations and foundations. Until our application (which is pending with the IRS) is approved, the Equality State Policy Center, a progressive nonprofit based in Lander, is acting as our fiscal sponsor. This means that contributions to Wind River Alliance are tax-deductible.

A recent report on nonprofit organizations in Wyoming, compiled by the Wyoming Nonprofit Support Initiative (WNSI), reveals some very impressive facts about the nonprofit sector in Wyoming. One stunning statistic is that nonprofits are the fourth largest source of jobs in Wyoming, employing more people than the mining, construction, or manufacturing sectors! In addition, the nonprofit is the fastest-growing sector of the Wyoming economy.

WNSI is currently exploring the formation of a statewide organization dedicated to supporting Wyoming nonprofits. For more information about WNSI, or to get a copy of the complete report, contact the Wyoming Community Foundation, 221 Ivinson Ave. Suite 202, Laramie WY 82070; (307) 721-8300 or www.wycf.org.