Rockville Community Alliance gets 501(c)3 status

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Feb. 27, 2014

The Rockville Community Alliance recently received its official 501(c)3 status as a non-profit organization. RCA President Jim Sendrak said the process took about a year and that the 501(c)3 status will allow for the organization to more easily seek grants and obtain funding for the benefit of the community. He added that RCA Executive Board member Tom DiDio was instrumental in working toward that goal and keeping the group updated.

“People have been kind to us,” Sendrak said, “in the way of outside help and funding, but it's been limited. We've done a lot of good work with the help that we've been able to muster on our own and the help from the outside. Now that we're a non-profit, it gives us an opportunity to continue to help the town and particularly the residents in  the communities, by being able to go after grants for larger scale projects.”

Donors who support the RCA's programs will now also be able to receive a tax deduction for their donations. Many potential corporate sponsors also require the official status in order to make donations.

Sendrak said the work the RCA has been doing can now have a larger reach. The RCA helps put on large events, including the "July in the Sky" celebration, National Night Out, and the Rockville Fest, and has ongoing, year-round projects including the Miss Greater Rockville Scholarship Organization and the Neighborhood Advocate Program.

“This will certainly help Miss Greater Rockville for this upcoming year. We should be able to do things in a much bigger way,” Sendrak said.

There is also a new level of diligence the RCA will have to take to maintain their non-profit status. “We've done a pretty good job of maintaining financial records,” Sendrak said. “We have to make sure our meetings are well-documented and that you have credible support for all the activities, both on the fiduciary side and the operational side. You have to make sure that you don't use this status improperly, intentionally or accidentally. You are more responsible now to protect that status, so it will put a little more stress on the organization, but the benefit of it outweighs the extra work it is going to take.”

Sendrak said the group has no immediate plans to seek specific grants, but rather will spend time making sure it fully understands the intricacies of being a 501(c)3. “We just want to set the table right and then set some goals,” he said. “We want to do it right, so we're going to take it slowly.”

The RCA will next be working on helping with the Maple Street Spring Fling in May and then prepare for "July in the Sky" in conjunction with the Town of Vernon.

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