Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association – Compliance with Legal Requirements
Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association (“TGENA”) is a Missouri non-profit corporation, incorporated in 1991 as TGE Neighborhood Charities, Inc. (our legal name). “Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association” is a registered fictitious name for the corporation. This information, along with a copy of TGENA’s Articles of Incorporation, is publicly available on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website, https://bsd.sos.mo.gov/BusinessEntity/BESearch.aspx?SearchType=0.
TGENA files an annual (or biennial) registration report with the Missouri Secretary of State, also available on the above website. These forms are due for all Missouri non-profit corporations by August 31st of every year, unless an organization utilizes the option to file every two years.
Our board of directors includes our officers (President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary and Treasurer) and the chairpersons of our standing committees, as provided in our bylaws. A copy of the bylaws is available upon request. The board of directors of TGENA meets on the first Wednesday of every month, at 7 pm Tower Grove Abbey. Members of TGENA are welcome to attend.
TGENA is also a tax-exempt charitable organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3). Instead of filing a full Form 990 informational return with the IRS (which would probably require the expense of hiring an accountant to prepare it), small non-profits can file what is called a Form 990N postcard filing with the IRS if their annual gross revenue is under $50,000. Our typical annual gross revenue is under $15,000. Form 990s are required to be filed not later than 5 months after the end of an organization’s fiscal year. Our fiscal year ends on October 31st each year, so our Form 990N is due by March 31st of the following year. Here are the dates when we have filed Form 990Ns in recent years: November 13, 2017, November 14, 2016, and January 19, 2016. A copy of the most recent Form 990N filed by TGENA is pasted in below.
In order to become tax-exempt for purposes of federal income tax, an organization files what is called a Form 1023 with the IRS. We no longer have a copy of the Form 1023 that was filed by TGENA to become tax-exempt, so that document is not available for inspection.
TGENA complies with IRS requirements to prepare and maintain contemporaneously prepared minutes of its board meetings. Minutes are prepared for every board meeting. We also have a conflict of interest policy. We do not have any paid employees and all board members and officers serve strictly as volunteers.
The board of TGENA has a policy of requiring all expenditures to be approved in advance by the board. In addition, any board member seeking reimbursement of an expense is required to provide a receipt or documentation of the expense.
Our Treasurer maintains the financial books of the organization. This consists of a checkbook, an Excel spreadsheet, correspondence received by the organization, copies of paid items and deposit items, bank statements and similar items. Pursuant to our bylaws, an audit committee of several board members conducts an annual inspection of the financial records of the organization. This audit committee typically conducts its audit in January of each year.
We prepare an annual budget for our activities at (or near) the beginning of the fiscal year. The budget vs. actual page is part of the Excel spreadsheet maintained by the Treasurer, and is presented to the board and approved annually, typically in November or December, after the end of the prior fiscal year. An annual financial report in the same format is presented to the board after the close of the fiscal year (after October 31st of the year), comparing the full-year income and expense of the organization to the budget. Funds for the TGE Community Garden at Sidney and Virginia are tracked on the spreadsheet so that the Garden is able to track its income (from the annual plant sale) and expenditures. The TGE Orchard is also under the auspices of TGENA and also has the support of the board of directors.
Our Treasurer endeavors to pay all bills and honor all reimbursement requests promptly (subject, however, to prior board approval of all expenditures as stated above). Contact the Treasurer if you have any questions or concerns about a particular request or bill.
TGENA has raised funds at Fair St. Louis for 37 years. This activity is organized by our Ways and Means Committee. A large number of volunteers are needed to run the booth. In recent years, this is our sole source of income for TGENA, aside from memberships and a few paid ads in our newsletter. We do not purchase beer or soda for the booth — the booth is set up and stocked by the Fair. We provide the staffing (the volunteers) and receive a set percentage of the gross sales, less any wastage or other set-off as determined by the Fair St. Louis organization. The percentage for the 2018 event was 15% of our gross sales, which were approximately $21,000.00. We are allowed to collect tips, 100% of which go to TGENA, less the cost of soda and beer that is provided for our volunteers. We do not yet have final figures for the 2018 event, but in 2017 net tips were $981.00, and $4,917.10 was received from the Fair, for a total gross of $5,898.10, less $500 we paid to the Fair as a participation deposit, for a net of $5,398.10.
Here is a summary of charitable donations made by TGENA since 2009. This summary only includes checks or donations given to other charitable organizations or causes. In recent years, TGENA has raised funds for the Roosevelt Community Council at the annual May fundraiser at Riley’s Pub, so those funds are included in this summary, and is part of the explanation for the increase in donations in the past few years.
TGENA complies with IRS directives that charitable organizations not participate in partisan politics. When we hold a candidate forum, which we sometimes do for the benefit of residents, we invite all of the candidates. We do not take positions on political issues, and when TGENA controlled the Tower Grove East Neighborhood Facebook group, we requested that political items not be posted to the group.