Saturday, February 27, 2010

Going Non-Profit on Etsy

Hmmmm, I wonder why it took me so long to come up with this.  Something had been feeling wrong to me about trying to make money off of what I love (arts and crafts) and I couldn't put my finger on it until this morning.  I just realized that what I really want to do is use my Etsy shop to raise money for organizations and turn it into a 100% non-profit.

The question is, how do I do that?  When I looked for information on Etsy, this is all I found:

Charitable listings and shops

DOs and DON'Ts > Shops and listings > Charitable listings and shops
Etsy understands that members may wish to participate in fundraising for charitable organizations and causes. Charitable fundraising is subject to many laws, and unfortunately, there exist unsavory people who may attempt to take advantage of your good will. Therefore, for the protection of our community, Etsy has established some policies regarding charitable listings and shops that use charitable fundraising as a promotional tool. Members participate in charitable fundraising at their own risk.
  • Members represent that any charitable fundraising complies with all applicable laws.
  • A seller who promotes that their Etsy shop engages in charitable fundraising on behalf of a recognized tax-deductible charitable organization (for example: 501(c)(3) status or equivalent with the IRS, similar legally-recognized non-U.S. charitable organization) must receive appropriate consent from the charitable organization.
  • The seller must include clear information about the organization and donation details in the listing and/or Public Profile.
  • Listings created solely to solicit for donations are not permitted. All listings on Etsy must be for a tangible item available for sale.
  • Members must comply with all policies, including Etsy's Community and Conversations policies. Members must not send unsolicited donation requests.
  • A charitable shop involving multiple people must comply with all applicable rules concerning collective shops.
Members who do not comply with Etsy's policies may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination. If Etsy removes an item listing for violating Etsy policy, the seller is still obligated to pay the listing fee for that item. Suspended or terminated members remain obligated to pay Etsy for all unpaid fees per our Terms of Use.

So, where do I begin?  Do I start by making contact with the organizations?  What do I do about taxes?  Anyone with any experience in this area, please help!

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