Minding OCW’s Business
by Sue Miholer, OCW Business Manager
MINDING OCW’S BUSINESS – Sue Miholer
It appears that 2015 will be a year of changes for OCW. And it’s starting off with a flurry of activity. The board worked our way through the bylaws last year, adding some legal language at the suggestion of our attorney. We came to the conclusion that the bylaws need to be very minimalistic. They are a legal document whose changes must be voted on by the membership. Because many of the specifics regarding who does what tend to morph over time with changes in technology and personnel, we put the operating details into a separate, and more flexible, procedural manual that reflects how we conduct the business of OCW.
The bylaws and procedural changes are a run-up to our applying to the IRS for a change in our tax status to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which will enable us to receive and receipt tax-deductible gifts and also help us qualify for grants. We have engaged the services of an attorney who is walking us through this process for much less than the going rate since he has a heart for nonprofit corporations. It will take several months to hear back from the IRS on this matter, so we want to get the application process completed before the February conference.
Our annual tax forms are due January 15 for our October–September fiscal year. Since we are already a not-for-profit corporation, a 501(c)(6), we pay no taxes but do need to file an annual Form 990. We have had a tax preparer do this for us in the past who prepared this year’s form as well. Wendy Gorski, the newly elected OCW treasurer, hopes to handle this and other tax paperwork in the future.
A big change this year will be the location of our fall conference on October 17. Multnomah University notified us in late October that they will no longer host outside groups during the school year.
Our fall conference will, instead, be held at Warner Pacific College, located at the intersection of SE Division and SE 68th Avenue—about 2.5 miles southwest of Multnomah. We are confident the Warner Pacific campus will work well for us. Our fall conferences met there many years ago, but we outgrew their facilities. The considerable expansion since then will accommodate us well.
It’s exciting to see all these changes in motion. We believe that God will continue to do great things through OCW. l