Our Sigma Phi Gamma 100-year anniversary is such a great accomplishment. Isn’t it wonderful that we can celebrate it together!
Have you ever thought you would like to have talked with our Founders during the time they were forming SPG? I wonder what gave those dedicated ladies the perseverance and fortitude for their planning. Could it have been another special event that was finally happening in 1920? After many decades of woman suffrage supporters lecturing, marching, lobbying and some being cruelly jailed, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on August 26, 1920. The 19th Amendment guarantees American women the right to vote. Women voted for a president three months later. Yea!!! This may not have happened if it hadn’t been for strong women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Paul and Harriet Tubman, to name just a few.
Three-fourths of the states’ approval was needed for ratification. Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify but that was a little iffy at the time. Harry T. Burn represented his county in the Tennessee House of Representatives and he had thought he might vote against the passing. But encouraged by a letter from his mother, his yes vote broke a tie vote and the amendment was ratified. Hurray for Harry!! So glad he was listening to his mother.
It’s been only 100 years of women voting. Wow! I don’t know about you, but when I go to the polls, I rarely think about all the hardships that suffragists had endured so that I may have my voting privileges.
In celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment and celebration of those courageous suffragists, we should vote and vote every election. It is our duty as Americans.
Sigma Phi Gamma International Sorority, Inc. is considered a “social/friendship club” and was organized for pleasure, recreation and other non-profitable purposes by our Founders in 1920. Generally, social clubs are membership organizations primarily supported by dues, fees, charges or other funds paid by their members.
The main difference between a 501(c)(7) and 501(c)(3) is that any money or goods received from our members or outside sources are NOT tax deductible. When looking for donations from businesses or other sources, make sure you tell them that we are a (c)7 and NOT (c)3.
Also, I believe there is a misconception about being “exempt”. “Exempt” does not mean that a Chapter or Province does not pay sales taxes. Sigma Phi Gamma International Sorority, Inc. as a whole is exempt from paying taxes (Federal), but even I pay taxes for everything purchased for the business office.
Did you know that our Bylaws (governing instrument) may not contain a provision that provides for discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color or religion? I was not aware of this – but fortunately this is not something Sigma Phi Gamma has to worry about since we do not have any of these provisions and we are a “friendship” organization that welcomes those who want to join.
Lastly, any net earnings of this organization may not inure to the benefit of any person (member or their family members) having a personal or private interest in its activities. This is why none of the monies earned can go directly to a Sister in need.
Remember, before you commit to a function or a meeting place where they are requesting your non-profit status, make sure you tell them we are a 501(c)(7) so there is no confusion at the end of the day. I have a copy of the IRS letter stating our exempt status in the business office if you ever have to produce it.
Just know I am a phone call away if you ever have any questions. Mary Ann